The national VA audit found new patients waited more than 32 days to see a primary care doctor at the VA Center in Cheyenne. In Sheridan, it was more than 45 days.
The Cheyenne VA and its clinics served 21,150 veterans in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013, said Cheyenne VA spokeswoman Patricia Hill.
Wyoming has , which range from VA Medical Centers in Cheyenne and Sheridan to smaller outpatient clinics such as the Torrington Mobile Telehealth Clinic, Wyoming Military Department Director Larry Barttelbort said.
"We're concerned with all this transition, will we be able to maintain all of this?" he said, after addressing the , which Nike Cortez Aloha Ebay
Only about 34 percent of Wyoming veterans use a VA facility for their health care, said Jacklyn VanMark, the Sheridan VA spokeswoman.
"There's been some discussion in Congress about kind of like a health card that goes to the veteran that they can use wherever they choose to go," he said.
Barttelbortalso worries about the ramifications of any referral expansionor health card program in Wyoming,a state with wide spaces between towns.
met Monday in Casper.
"If you have to drive to Cheyenne to get a referral to see the doctor in Dubois, that's not going to be very good, because you've just done this journey anyway," he said. "We've got to figure out a better way."We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.
Barttelbort and Akin knew there were delays for veterans to see specialists, such as orthopedists or neurologists, but they were surprised about delays with primary care physicians and how widespread the delays were, they said.
As a result of the allegations, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down. The Associated Press reported Monday that President Barack Obama had nominated Procter Gamble executive Robert McDonald as secretary. Military Academy at West Point and turned around Procter Gamble at a time when it was in trouble, Barttelbort said.
"He may be what the doctor needed, so to speak, so the VA can have that culture change," he said.
To pay non VA physicians and otherchanges, Wyoming facilities could becut, Barttelbort said.
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"There's going to be an associated cost with this. I have no idea what it will be, but it will be huge," Barttelbort said.
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A remedy to the nationwide problem could be expanding the VA's referral program, allowing more veterans to see physicians in their communities who don't work for the VA, Barttelbort said.
The number of facilities has greatly increased in the past decade, said Ron Akin, a member of the Wyoming Veterans' Commission who lives in Casper.
Close facilities are helpful for veterans and their families who live hundreds of miles from the VA hospitals in Sheridan or Cheyenne, he said.
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The VA is expected to undergo changes after media reports and an audit found patients weren't scheduled for treatment within 14 days of calling the VA for an appointment, including in Wyoming. Some VA employees, including allegedly in Wyoming, had been instructed to schedule in a manner to make it appear the veterans were treated within 14 days when they were not. Fourteen days had been the VA's guideline for getting patients in, but it was recently abandoned.
the rules of the game you are playing, and when we Nike Classic Cortez Vintage exceed the 14 day measure, the front office gets very upset."
The Sheridan VA and the clinics it oversees serve about 13,000 vets, VanMark said.
Department of Veterans Affairs health care system could result in the closure of Wyoming facilities, he said Monday morning.
On May 9, the VA placed a Cheyenne based VA nurse on leave after an email surfaced in which he instructed employees to make it appear patients were seeing physicians in 14 days.
Wyoming Milltary Department hopes VA doesn't close any facilities
There are 56,000 veterans in Wyoming, Barttlebort said.
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