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Health Care at the VA:  Recommendations for Change

Faisal G. Bakaeen, MD1,2; Alvin Blaustein, MD3,4; Melina R. Kibbe, MD5,6
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas
2Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
3Division of Cardiology, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas
4Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
5The Surgical Service, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
6Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2014;312(5):481-482. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8054.
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The current controversy surrounding Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers has reached national concern, with Congress enacting new law in a matter of weeks. Disturbing reports are emerging daily of VA facilities keeping double sets of appointment books, and a report recently released from the Office of the Inspector General described one VA as claiming that its veteran patients’ average wait time for new appointments was 24 days, whereas the OIG found it to be 115 days.1 Of even greater concern were the 1700 veterans found to have no appointments made in the system, still awaiting care.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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