Despite reforms, VA facilities in Florida make no headway in fight to shorten waits for care

Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-09 11:06:00-04

MIAMI (AP) - An analysis of the data by The Associated Press shows the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is far from reaching its goal of reducing long waits for care at some of its hospitals and clinics.

The VA began auditing and reporting wait times last spring after a scandal over attempts at many facilities to cover up delays. Its current goal calls for patients to be seen within 30 days.

In Florida, nearly 29,000 appointments involved a delay of longer than 60 days. That figure doesn't include cancellations, patient no-shows, or if the veteran sought care elsewhere.

The Jacksonville VA had the worst of those delayed waits with more than 7,000. Pensacola, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando were also high on the list.

The agency says it's building new facilities.