Senator Loeffler Fights for Georgia Veterans
Urges the VA to Address Lengthy Appointment Wait Times for Community Care
ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) seeking answers on how VHA will address long wait times in scheduling veterans’ health care appointments under the Veterans Community Care Program.
Despite tremendous improvements in care provided by the VA under the Trump administration, there have been reports by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that thousands of Georgia veterans were experiencing wait times of at least 180 days for appointments to be scheduled through the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Loeffler sent the letter to Dr. Richard Stone, VHA Executive in Charge, in response to these reports.
“Although the Veterans Community Care Program was created to improve patient choice and ensure timely access to care, a recent report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that as of late September 2020, 4,632 veterans in Georgia waited at least 180-days for a community care appointment to be scheduled through the Atlanta VAMC,” Loeffler wrote. “I understand that COVID-19 has created delays across our healthcare system…However, I believe you would agree with me that no veteran should have to wait six months to receive care.”
Loeffler has taken a number of actions to support veterans, including:
- Introducing the VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act to ensure that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare trainees receive the telehealth training they need and expand the number of VA healthcare employees that can provide care via telehealth;
- Introducing the VA-SBA Act to help streamline the federal contracting process for veteran-owned small businesses;
- Urging the Trump administration to expand tele-mental health services for veterans;
- Cosponsoring the Homeless Veterans Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 to improve the ability of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide critical services to homeless veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Cosponsoring two bills to ensure that GI beneficiaries are not adversely affected by the pandemic, language from both of which was signed into law; and
- Cosponsoring a bill to require the VA to study the benefits of nonprofit posttraumatic growth programs in an effort to help expand treatment options for veterans who seek innovative ways to improve mental health, and fighting for similar language to be maintained in the recently-passed Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act.