AMA Asks for Quicker Care for Veterans, Suggests State Societies Create Physician Registries

In response to recent furor over lack of timely access to care for veterans nationwide, physicians at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting voted Tuesday, June 10, 2014, to ask President Barack Obama to provide care for eligible veterans via the health care sector outside of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, until the VA can speed up wait times.

In addition, the AMA also recommended that state and local medical societies develop a registry of physicians who are willing to care for veterans. They suggested that the registries could then be provided to local communities and VA sites across the country to help expedite access to care.

PAMED supports the AMA’s resolution and is currently working with administrative leaders within the VA to identify how best to link Pennsylvania physicians willing to see veterans to veterans needing care.

Recent access-to-care problems, including some in Pennsylvania, that have left thousands of veterans unable to receive care in a timely fashion. A VA audit released this week found that more than 57,000 veterans still are awaiting their first medical appointment at VA medical facilities, while 64,000 who have enrolled in the VA’s health care system have never had an appointment.