States Opening Registries to Ease Backlog of Veterans' Care Cases

Texas, New York already established lists of private physicians willing to see veterans

WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in several states are acting to ease the access-to-care crisis recently exposed in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

According to the AMA, physician registries are being established to pull together a list of private physicians willing to see veterans in their practice and ease backlogs among veterans seeking medical care. At least 10 percent of veterans have to wait more than 30 days for a medical appointment and 57,000 new VA patients waited as long as three months before they could see a doctor. Another 63,000 patients have been unable to secure appointments at all.

To address this shortage, medical associations in Texas and New York have established registries of available, willing physicians whose names will be shared with community groups that work with veterans. In addition to establishing registries in other states, the AMA is pressing the Obama administration and Congress to provide both timely and long-care solutions to ensure veterans' access to health care.

"Physicians in other states should check with their state and county medical associations to determine whether they will be developing registries to better serve veterans in need of care," the AMA advises.

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