KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Veterans Wait As Long As 50 Days For Mental Health Services

An internal investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs concluded that almost half of veterans who seek mental health care face waiting times in excess of those generally cited by the department.

The Associated Press: Report: VA Failing To Provide Timely Mental Care
Federal investigators reported Monday that nearly half of the veterans who seek mental health care for the first time waited about 50 days before receiving a full evaluation, a much longer lag-time than cited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has been saying that 95 percent of new patients seeking mental health treatment get a full evaluation within the department's goal of 14 days. But an inspector general's report said that the department's tracking is flawed and that the VA was overstating its success when it comes to how quickly veterans get care (Freking, 4/23).

USA Today: Veterans' Mental Health Treatment Not As Timely As Contended
An internal investigation at the Department of Veterans Affairs released Monday says tens of thousands of veterans waited far longer last year to receive mental health treatment than what the VA contends (Zoroya, 4/23).

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