Audit: Over 57,000 Awaiting Initial Appointments Across Country, Thousands Waiting in Colorado

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Veterans here in southern Colorado are talking about their own personal experiences with the VA.

They seem to agree that once an appointment is set and they are in to see an actual doctor or nurse, the care is good.

It's what is happening at the federal level that has some unhappy with delays in treatment and their benefits.

We talked to two Vietnam Vets.

Bruce Veteto tells us, he can't complain about the wait time or treatment because it has always been able to see a doctor in a timely fashion.

Veteto says he is pleased with the VA and that everyone time he has gone to VA clinic, vets are getting quality care.
It's his opinion that some are simply being ungrateful.

"Frankly I was a bit disappointed that people were complaining about the VA, I thought those ingrates," Veteto says.

On the other hand, John, also a Vietnam Vet, says he has experienced long wait times and a number of issues with getting and keeping his benefits.
He is hoping the audit will bring a change.
The Veterans Affairs Department says more than 57,000 patients are still waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them. An additional 64,000 who enrolled in the VA health care system over the past 10 years have never had appointments.

The Veterans Affairs Department says more than 1,600 patients have had to wait for initial medical appointments at the Denver VA hospital 90 days or more after requesting them.

A report released by the VA Monday also says 115 patients have had to wait at least 90 days for their first appointment at the Grand Junction veterans hospital.

The report is based on an audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics. It says that nationwide, a total of more than 57,000 patients have been caught in that 90-day category.

We've learned there are hundreds waiting to get appointments at the Colorado Springs locations. We've also learned that Colorado Springs is one of the locations that's been flagged to get a second review because three employees said there were told to manipulate the wait time data.

The audit released Monday says 13 percent of VA schedulers reported supervisors telling them to falsify appointment dates to make waiting times appear shorter.