VA reports increase in number of appointments at North Florida/South Georgia VA HCS health facility in Waycross in August


The North Florida/South Georgia VA Health Care System, subsidiary 573GM in Waycross, Georgia scheduled 3,234 pending appointments in August compared to 3,212 the previous month, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments, 3,205 had a wait time of 30 days or less (99.1%) and 29 appointments (0.9%) were scheduled more than 30 days out.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2019 reported that wait times for new appointments at VA health care facilities were similar to or better than wait times at private-sector providers between 2014 and 2017.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), however, released a report in July 2019 that cautioned that the VA's data-tracking system only captures part of the appointment process and fails to account for the time that it takes the VA to enroll veterans in its health benefits program.

At a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee after the report was released, Debra Draper, health care director at the GAO, said new patients may actually wait up to 70 days for an appointment when they first enroll for benefits.

The VA explains on its website that when veterans apply for benefits, they are assigned to one of eight priority groups, with those who need immediate care due to service-related disabilities placed in higher priority groups. Veterans who don’t have service-connected disabilities and who earn a higher income are placed in the lower priority groups.

North Florida/South Georgia VA Health Care System Appointments Scheduled in August vs. July

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August
Total Appointments Scheduled in July
Percent change in number of appointments
573
Gainesville, FL (Malcom Randall)
58,423
58,535
-0.2%
573A4
Lake City, FL
18,232
18,702
-2.5%
573BY
Jacksonville 1, FL
42,596
42,077
1.2%
573GA
Valdosta, GA
4,745
4,803
-1.2%
573GD
Ocala, FL
9,744
9,712
0.3%
573GF
Tallahassee, FL (Sergeant Ernest I. 'Boots' Thomas)
25,950
25,721
0.9%
573GG
Lecanto, FL
3,442
4,069
-15.4%
573GI
The Villages, FL
29,597
29,443
0.5%
573GJ
St. Marys, GA
4,296
4,164
3.2%
573GK
Marianna, FL
3,041
2,998
1.4%
573GL
Palatka, FL
3,335
3,409
-2.2%
573GM
Waycross, GA
3,234
3,212
0.7%
573GN
Perry, FL
593
601
-1.3%
573QC
Gainesville 3-64th Street (C), FL
1,438
1,505
-4.5%
573QD
Gainesville 4-64th Street (O), FL
6,654
6,490
2.5%
573QE
Gainesville 5-64th Street (D), FL
4,931
4,864
1.4%
573QF
Gainesville 6-23rd Avenue, FL
33
28
17.9%
573QH
Ocala West, FL
5,277
5,463
-3.4%
573QJ
Jacksonville 2, FL
11,185
11,227
-0.4%
573QK
Lake City-Commerce Drive, FL
3,617
3,613
0.1%

Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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