Buffalo, NY – You have heard a lot over the past few months about delays in patient care at VA Hospitals across the country, specifically in Phoenix, where some vets were waiting months to see a doctor.
BUFFALO, NY – You have heard a lot over the past few months about delays in patient care at VA Hospitals across the country, specifically in Phoenix, where some vets were waiting months to see a doctor.
Our partners at USA Today found directors and top executives at 38 troubled VA hospitals received more than $380,000 in bonuses last year.
Investigators are looking into claims of falsified appointment records or long waits for care at those facilities.
The latest numbers obtained from the VA by USA Today show as of June 15, wait times are still sixty days or more on average at eleven VA hospitals across the country.
Phoenix has improved, with wait times of less than sixty days now. But, in Portland, Oregon, one of the facilities flagged for further review, 2,090 patients have been on a wait list for more than 90 days.
The average wait time there held steady from May to June at 79 days.
Delays in Buffalo have not been as bad as in other parts of the country, and Buffalo is not flagged for review. Numbers from June show only three patients on the wait list for more than 90 days, although Buffalo's average wait time did jump from around 27 days in May to almost 30 in June.
Problems in Buffalo have mainly centered around delays with disability claims where the backlog is one of the worst in the country.
USA Today also looked at bonuses the VA awarded last year to its top officials totaling $2.7 million.
In Buffalo, where again the problems mainly involve a backlog of claims, VA Director Mary Schohn received an $11,571 bonus. And, Regional Counsel Joseph Moreno got $7,910 as a bonus
for a total of more than $19,000 between the two.
The Department of Veterans Affairs suspended its practice of awarding bonuses earlier this year amid concerns the money might have "incentivized inappropriate actions."