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GAO Finds Conflicting VA Mental Healthcare Wait Time Policies; Debra Draper Comments

medical health doctorThe Government Accountability Office has uncovered inconsistencies in how the Department of Veterans Affairs handles the schedules of patients seeking mental healthcare, Army Times reported Wednesday.

Patricia Kime writes a new GAO report reveals that patients have waited up to nine months from their first request for appointment to receive mental health evaluation.

“The way in which the Department of Veterans Affairs calculates veteran mental health wait times may not always reflect the overall amount of time a veteran waits for care,” said Debra Draper, GAO’s healthcare director.

GAO also finds conflict in VA’s wait time policies, which Draper says has caused “confusion among VA medical center officials about which policy they are expected to follow,” according to the report.

The report urged VA to resolve its wait time policies and issue guidance for wait time calculation, Army Times reports.

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