Anchorage rated satisfactory in Veterans Affairs audit

Chart of wait times for VA care for ISN 20. (Chart courtesy U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Chart of wait times for VA care for the Northwest region. (Chart courtesy U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Ninety-nine percent of veterans seeking medical appointments from the Anchorage VA are seen within 30 days. That’s according to a Veterans Affairs audit released yesterday.

The audit found an established patient could schedule a primary care appointment within two days, on average. The average wait time was less than three days to see a specialist, and less than a day for mental healthcare. New patient wait times were closer to 30 days.

The auditors interviewed staff at hundreds of VA hospitals and clinics across the country. Nationwide, 13 percent of schedulers reported they were told to falsify appointment schedules to make wait times appear shorter.

Sen. Mark Begich says the Anchorage numbers reflect great improvement. Sen.

Lisa Murkowski calls them encouraging but warns they represent a snapshot in time and require commitment to maintain.

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