Kirk: More Details Needed on VA Audit Findings


By Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is calling for the Veterans Administration to release more information about wait times and the quality of care at its Illinois hospitals.

The Illinois Republican and former Navy reservist says his office learned early Monday that some Illinois facilities were flagged for further review following a VA audit.

They include hospitals in Hines and Marion and an outpatient clinic in Peoria.

Kirk says the limited information he received on the audits backs up outside reports he's received from whistleblowers at those facilities.

The audits come as a House committee is set to hold hearings Monday about the widening scandal.

Kirk is a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation that would make changes at the VA and provide veterans more flexibility in where they obtain health care.

 Here's a look at numbers in those categories for five VA sites in Illinois: Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital west of Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Marion VA Medical Center and the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.

-New patients who requested appointments in the past decade for whom an appointment had not been scheduled as of June 2: Hines 140, Jesse Brown 64, Danville 122, Marion 494, Lovell 53.

-Patients still awaiting medical appointments 90 days or more after requesting them: None listed for Hines, Jesse Brown 1, Danville 19, Marion 3, Lovell 50.

-Patients who waited more than 120 days for an appointment: None listed for any of the Illinois sites. 

-Total appointments scheduled, reflecting caseload: Hines 53,645, Jesse Brown 32,213, Danville 19,150, Marion 27,300, Lovell 10,688.

-Average wait times for new patients seeking primary care: Danville 54.08 days, Jesse Brown 40.85, Marion 38.31, Hines 33.20, Lovell 15.46.


-Average wait times for established patients seeking primary care: Marion 2.04 days, Lovell 1.66, Danville 1.47, Hines 1.22, Jesse Brown 0.75.


-Average wait times for new patients seeking specialist care: Jesse Brown 53.69 days, Danville 52.14, Marion 51.53, Hines 45.95, Lovell 19.59.


-Average wait times for established patients seeking specialist care: Lovell 2.58 days, Hines 2.30, Danville 1.80, Marion 1.71, Jesse Brown 0.82.


-Average wait times for new patients seeking mental health treatment: Jesse Brown 42.77 days, Danville 35.64, Marion 28.20, Lovell 24.32, Hines 21.22.


-Average wait times for established patients seeking mental health treatment: Lovell 2.53 days, Jesse Brown 2.27, Hines 1.5, Danville 1.06, Marion 0.90.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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