Warner, Kaine call on VA secretary to act on wait times at medical centers

mark warner tim kaineU.S. Senators Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and a bipartisan group of Senators, including the leadership of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin in response to a troubling Inspector General report last week on veteran wait times.

Though the IG report did not find intentional misreporting, it did find that across the Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Network (VISN 6) actual wait times were drastically different than what has been reported by VA medical facilities. VISN 6 includes locations in Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Salem.

The Senators called on Secretary Shulkin and the VA to provide additional information on how VA facilities record and report wait time data, how they schedule appointments, and how the VA plans to ensure timely access to quality care for Virginia’s rapidly growing Veteran population.

“Veterans in this VISN, and across the country, deserve to be seen more quickly than VISN 6 has achieved, and Congress, veterans, and the American public must be able to trust that the wait time information being provided by VA is accurate.  That we, once again, cannot trust VA data is more than disappointing,” the Senators wrote.

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

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