Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I guess wait times are under attack as political leverage.

Washington, DC - JULY 22: Robert McDonald, (click here) President Obama's nominee to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, holds up a copy of the Veterans Affairs 'Strategic Plan Framework' while testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee July 22, 2014 in Washington, DC. McDonald, if confirmed, would lead the recently scandal plagued Department of Veterans Affairs.

Secretary McDonald doesn't appreciate the difference of apples and oranges. I am sure the wait times at Disney, especially during the summer, is considerable. But, that is comparing apples and oranges. The apple and apple comparison is how much better is the general healthcare system doing compared to the Veteran's Administration?

Neither apples are doing well. The really interesting part of this article is it was written in 2014 before Obamacare rolled out. In this article, the wait time leader was Massachusetts. It already had a law requiring everyone have healthcare insurance. At the time this article was written comparing Massachusetts to the rest of the USA is another apples and oranges instance.

July 5, 2014
By Elisabeth Rosenthal

One small consolation of our high-priced health care system — our $2.7 trillion collective medical bill — has been the notion that at least we get medical attention quickly....

...Merritt Hawkins, (click here) a physician staffing firm, found long waits last year when it polled five types of doctors’ offices about several types of nonemergency appointments including heart checkups, visits for knee pain and routine gynecologic exams. The waits varied greatly by market and specialty. For example, patients waited an average of 29 days nationally to see a dermatologist for a skin exam, 66 days to have a physical in Boston and 32 days for a heart evaluation by a cardiologist in Washington....

The increased wait time at the VA is because it has INCREASED capacity for more patient care. Caring for 7 million more veterans ANNUALLY is no minor accomplishment. The only way of decreasing wait times across the spectrum of health care in the USA is to graduate more doctors and health care providers as well as build more infrastructure.

Infrastructure projects are completely opposed by Republicans. What are ya going to do?

Privatizing the VA is not the answer. The civilian system isn't much better and is no indication of success over what the VA is already doing. The VA prescription program alone is worth stating it out performs any commercial insurance. Secretary McDonald should be speaking to the vast improvements at the VA and it's anticipated improvements with sincerely needed infrastructure.

June 22, 2015
By Katie Pavich

...The number of veterans seeking health care (click here) but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported.
The VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, the Times reported in a story posted online ahead of its Sunday editions. The agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves to reduce the gap, the newspaper reported.
In the last year, the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings, the Times reported. However, the newspaper added, department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar. At some major veterans hospitals, demand was up by one-fifth, the paper reported....