Madison Veterans Hospital to hold town hall meeting Sept. 23

Originally posted on Madison.com.

Madison’s Veterans Hospital will hold a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 for veterans, families, staff and the media.

“This will be a great opportunity for veterans to hear directly from hospital leaders about issues that concern or affect them,” according to an announcement this week on the hospital’s Facebook page.

An audit in June found new patients waited an average of 51 days to see a primary care doctor at the Madison VA. They waited an average of 24 days in Milwaukee and 17 in Tomah.

The VA has a 14-day target for wait times. Veterans in other states have died while waiting for care , leading to nationwide review.

The Madison VA hospital had a “significant increase in patient demand” and vacancies in primary care provider positions, resulting in the long wait for new patients, spokesman Tim Donovan said. The providers have been replaced or are being replaced, Donovan said.

In the 2013 fiscal year, patients made 1,404 complaints to the hospital’s patient advocate office, he said. Of those, 261 were concerns about the timeliness of access to care and 302 were about other aspects of patient care, he said.

More than 40,000 veterans were cared for in fiscal 2013 at the hospital and its clinics in Baraboo, Beaver Dam, Janesville, Madison and Freeport and Rockford, Illinois. They accounted for nearly 400,000 outpatient visits.

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