Wait times for emergency services longer at VA hospitals

Veterans are waiting a long time to receive care when they arrive at the emergency room of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, according to a recent analysis from USA Today. The median wait time between arrival at the ER and admission was longer at about 70 percent of VA hospitals compared to other facilities––by hours at some locations––according to USA Today.

The findings are in stark contrast to a recent JAMA Network Open study that found access to VA healthcare services has improved since 2014, with improved wait times for primary care, dermatology, cardiology and orthopedics at VA medical centers.

USA Today analyzed how 146 VA medical centers compared with other healthcare facilities across several factors. Of the 115 VA hospitals which reported ER wait times between arrival and admission, 16 percent had median wait times longer than 6.5 hours, according to the data. Only two hospitals had wait times the same as non-VA hospitals (4.3 hours), while 28 percent had a median wait time shorter than non-VA hospitals.

See the full analysis below: