Walz: Minnesota VA not caught up in growing wait-time controversy

Rep. Tim Walz, a National Guard veteran and co-chair of the USO Congressional Caucus, spoke to USO volunteers in Washington on Wednesday.
Performance goals and measures for VA mental health, primary care, and speciality clinics

For new patients, VA clinics aim to schedule appointments within 14 days of the request. For established patients, the goal is to schedule an appointment within 14 days of the patient’s desired date. As of March 2014, most Minnesota clinics were exceeding their goals, with the exception of primary care clinics dealing with new patients in Minneapolis and Mankato.

GoalProgress, March ’14
Mental health clinic
New patients70%80%
Established patients9599
Primary care clinic
New patients4743
Established patients9396
Specialty care clinic
New patients4348
Established patients9394
Mental health clinic
New patients7076
Established patients9599
Primary care clinic
New patients4778
Established patients9399
Mental health clinic
New patients7083
Established patients95100
Primary care clinic
New patients4735
Established patients9398

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 05/22/2014 - 03:08 pm.

    A better way to question

    It sounds as if Walz questioned the people at the hospitals and clinics, and the veterans currently being served at those hospitals and clinics. A better way of getting information would be to question the people at home who are on the wait-list and ask how long have they been waiting for service. It is possible the waiting times will not be the same as what the hospitals and clinics are claiming.
    I worked at a business once that when it got behind in its service, destroyed all the claims waiting to be processed. Then it processed only the claims for people who complained about the delay. It made it seem as if the business was on-time, but actually the people who didn’t complain were never served.

  2. Submitted by wayne marquardt on 05/22/2014 - 03:48 pm.

    VA wait tiime

    Okay Mr Walz,
    Why does it take over three months to get a simple appointment for eye glasses. Then once you get the exam, eye glasses options are so limited it does not pay to wait three months for the exam because you have to go to a non-VA place to get decent eye glasses. This is just plain inexcusable. But who am I? Just another veteran who deserves better, in my humble opinion.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/22/2014 - 04:45 pm.


      VA medical facilities are understaffed, because they are underfunded.

      Guess which party recently defeated a bill that would expand funding for veterans’ services (Hint: It’s the party that wants to make the wait-time controversy a campaign issue this November)?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 05/23/2014 - 09:14 am.

        It’s always about money, isn’t it

        The truth is, the VA isn’t a scandal, it’s a preview of coming attractions. If the Left had their way, everyone’s health care would be handled by a system exactly like the VA.

        As a veteran, I can tell you that I would only use the VA as a last resort. If I was broke and without private medical insurance and my choice of doctors and hospital, then and only then, would I turn to the VA for treatment. It’s been that way for decades. And that’s the health care system that the democrats in congress want for all of us.

        We need to defund the VA system. Give eligible veterans a medical ID card that would be shown at any medical facility to receive treatment, billable to the DOD. This would enable them to choose the doctor and hospital or clinic that was best or most convenient for them. As a compromise, let the VA hospitals stay open and take in civilian patients as just another health care option. But it would force them to compete for patients in the marketplace would could incentivize them to get better.

        I know that the only people who really care about this are veterans, so it’ll take veterans to force the change. Fortunately, most vote republican.

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