Columbia VA hospital struggles to deliver timely care

Columbia VA hospital struggles to deliver timely care

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Many patients at the veterans' hospital in Columbia are still waiting a month or more to see the doctor, even after Congress gave the VA system an additional $16.3 billion to reduce long waits for care.

Government data shows that nearly 9,700 medical appointments completed at the hospital between Sept. 1 and Feb. 28 failed to meet the VA's timeliness standard, which calls for patients to be seen within 30 days.

The Associated Press analyzed six months of appointment data at 940 VA hospitals and clinics to see whether anything has improved since a scandal over long wait times prompted Congress to pass reform legislation.

The review found that, nationally, the number of veterans waiting more than a month for care hasn't declined.

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