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va scandal

VA hospital audit confirms long waits, data falsification

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an audit on Monday tallying the wait times at its 731 hospitals and clinics nationwide. The numbers aren't good. Of the roughly six million veterans scheduled for care at these facilities, more than 57,000 have been waiting more than three months for an appointment, and almost 64,000 others have never been seen despite having been enrolled in the VA system for a decade. In three-quarters of hospitals, some wait-time data had been manipulated, and 13 percent of schedulers told auditors that "supervisors or others" had told them to falsify that data, The New York Times reports.

As of last month, most veterans were scheduled to be seen within 30 days, but individual VA medical centers had worse numbers. In the Phoenix hospital, which started the scandal, the average wait time for a new primary care patients was 55 days, and lots of VA hospitals had worse delays. The worst? Honolulu, at 145 days. The VA audit tagged 112 facilities for further review.