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Thursday, December 5, 2019

VA reports increase in number of appointments at Aleda E. Lutz VAMC health facility in Cadillac in August

Government

By Local Labs News Service | Nov 7, 2019

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The Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, subsidiary 655GG in Cadillac, Michigan scheduled 2,065 pending appointments in August compared to 2,042 the previous month, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments, 2,046 had a wait time of 30 days or less (99.1%) and 19 appointments (0.9%) were scheduled more than 30 days out.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2019 reported that wait times for new appointments at VA health care facilities were similar to or better than wait times at private-sector providers between 2014 and 2017.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), however, released a report in July 2019 that cautioned that the VA's data-tracking system only captures part of the appointment process and fails to account for the time that it takes the VA to enroll veterans in its health benefits program.

At a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee after the report was released, Debra Draper, health care director at the GAO, said new patients may actually wait up to 70 days for an appointment when they first enroll for benefits.

The VA explains on its website that when veterans apply for benefits, they are assigned to one of eight priority groups, with those who need immediate care due to service-related disabilities placed in higher priority groups. Veterans who don’t have service-connected disabilities and who earn a higher income are placed in the lower priority groups.

Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center Appointments Scheduled in August vs. July

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August
Total Appointments Scheduled in July
Percent change in number of appointments
655
Saginaw, MI (Aleda E. Lutz)
25,982
24,805
4.7%
655GA
Gaylord, MI
1,571
1,574
-0.2%
655GB
Traverse City, MI (Colonel Demas T. Craw)
1,416
1,358
4.3%
655GC
Oscoda, MI
2,250
2,257
-0.3%
655GD
Alpena, MI (Lieutenant Colonel Clement C. Van Wagoner)
1,736
1,610
7.8%
655GE
Clare, MI
3,189
3,203
-0.4%
655GF
Bad Axe, MI
1,914
1,803
6.2%
655GG
Cadillac, MI
2,065
2,042
1.1%
655GH
Cheboygan County, MI
1,186
1,193
-0.6%
655GI
Grayling, MI
1,285
1,251
2.7%
655QB
Grand Traverse, MI
2,003
2,052
-2.4%

Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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