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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

VA reports increase in number of appointments at VA Central Iowa HCS health facility in Des Moines (636QB) in August

Government

By Metric Media News Service | Jan 15, 2020

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The VA Central Iowa Health Care System, subsidiary 636QB in Des Moines, Iowa scheduled 141 pending appointments in August compared to 132 the previous month, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments, 141 had a wait time of 30 days or less (100%).

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.

VA Central Iowa Health Care System Appointments Scheduled in August vs. August

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in September
Total Appointments Scheduled in August
Percent change in number of appointments
636A6
Des Moines, IA
23,420
22,980
1.9%
636BU
Des Moines, IA - VADOM
62
32
93.8%
636GC
Mason City, IA
2,419
2,162
11.9%
636GD
Marshalltown, IA
582
529
10%
636GK
Fort Dodge, IA
2,170
2,129
1.9%
636GM
Carroll, IA
569
545
4.4%
636GR
Knoxville, IA
982
901
9%
636GX
Fort Dodge North, IA
435
439
-0.9%
636QB
Des Moines Center Street, IA
141
132
6.8%

Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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