VA reports increase in number of August appointments scheduled at Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC health facility in Warren


The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, subsidiary 541GI in Warren, Ohio scheduled 3,920 pending appointments in August compared to 3,758 during the same period last year, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments this August, 3,645 had a wait time of 30 days or less (93%) and 275 appointments (7%) were scheduled more than 30 days out.

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 or better to 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 1 of 8 priority groups, with those who need immediate care due to service-related disabilities placed in higher priority groups. Veterans who do not have service-connected disabilities and who earn a higher income are placed in the lower priority groups.

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center - 541GI Appointments Scheduled in August 2019 vs. August 2018

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2019
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2018
Percent change in number of appointments
541
Cleveland
64,966
63,828
1.8%
541BY
Canton
17,123
16,334
4.8%
541BZ
Youngstown
11,946
12,752
-6.3%
541GB
Lorain
10,765
10,425
3.3%
541GC
Sandusky
7,533
7,183
4.9%
541GD
Mansfield
13,283
13,330
-0.4%
541GE
Cleveland
1,245
1,341
-7.2%
541GF
Willoughby
11,065
6,448
71.6%
541GG
Akron
18,011
14,985
20.2%
541GH
East Liverpool
4,298
4,719
-8.9%
541GI
Warren
3,920
3,758
4.3%
541GJ
New Philadelphia
4,853
4,804
1%
541GK
Ravenna
5,698
5,811
-1.9%
541GL
Parma
26,033
25,896
0.5%
541GM
Cleveland
32
115
-72.2%
541QB
Cleveland
1,050
846
24.1%
Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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