Erie's VA Hospital Addresses Bad Remarks From Recent Audit - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Erie's VA Hospital Addresses Bad Remarks From Recent Audit

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ERIE-- It may be her last name, but Anne Marie ‘Waite’ says she doesn't do a lot of it at Erie's VA hospital.

As an army veteran and patient for nearly 15 years, she says the findings are unheard of.

"I've had problems with asthma periodically, and I call up there and get a same day appointment," Waite says.

57 days adds up to about two months. It's the amount of time that a report shows patients have to wait to be seen in the Behavioral Clinic at the hospital.

It's a far cry from the 14-day target set by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

"It does disturb me deeply when I think about veterans that have to wait 50 days for an appointment," Waite adds.

After the audit results were released on Monday, hospital spokeswoman Sarah Gudgeon says there were discrepancies in the numbers. One being--the hospital's new coding system. It seems data from both new and existing patients were intertwined.

"Every patient who was booked into that new clinic was automatically seen as a new patient,” Gudgeon says. “In reality, when an established patient who was probably just scheduling a follow up appointment 3-6 months out, is probably where [the results] came from."

Of the 731 hospitals and outpatient clinics, the final report showed more than 55,000 military veterans went 90 days or more before their first appointment.

Christina McKellop, Commander at the Millcreek American Legion Post #773, had many nice things to say about Erie's VA hospital.

"I feel bad for the veterans that have that problem and it really bothers me that it’s happening," McKellop says.

"They shouldn't have to wait a minute for any type of appointment or medical attention at all,” Waite suggests. “They sacrificed so much already."

It's an issue that the hospital is fully aware of-- promising to remain transparent in this troubling time.

"As we update these reports and as the data continues to be fluid, we’re going to keep everybody updated because that is what our community deserves,” Gudgeon promises.
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