Washington, DC – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) has cosponsored H.R. 6207, the Improve VA Timing and Efficiency Act – legislation to allow the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to award contracts to professional medical schedulers who have the resources and expertise to schedule veterans’ medical appointments.
“The ongoing problems at the VA are inexcusable and we must do what we can to ensure our veterans get the care they need and deserve,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “When I meet with veterans across our district, I regularly hear about the need to reform the VA to improve service. This important legislation would allow the option of using private outside medical schedulers to reduce the VA’s unacceptable backlog. I am proud to support this legislation and will continue to fight for our veterans in Congress.”
In April 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report showing that the average wait time at the VA medical facilities is 22-71 days. Additionally, 60 out of 180 veterans GAO followed had not received medical care by the end of the study. One of the findings was that a primary cause of these delays has been a lack of updated scheduling protocols with outdated systems used by the VA.
This bill would allow the Secretary of the VA to award contracts to professional medical schedulers who have the resources and expertise to schedule veterans’ medical appointments. The trained professional schedulers can help veterans schedule all aspects of care, including lab work and medical tests.