VA recently launched an improved Access to Care website. The site offers updated information and a user-friendly, streamlined search process that will make it easier for Veterans to plan their health care visits.

In addition, the website includes more of what Veterans told us matters to them beyond average wait times, such as Veteran satisfaction and experience information. They will also be able to view data for expanded mental health care services and specialities, including Individual and Group Therapy, General Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder programs, Primary Care-Mental Health Integrated Care, and PTSD Specific programs.

VA is planning to include additional specialty care services and more site improvements on Access to Care in the near future.

Average wait times calculations updated

To better reflect the Veteran experience, VA updated the way it calculates average wait times. The new calculation uses averages from recently scheduled appointments—including those that have been completed and those scheduled and yet to occur in the future—and measures wait times in a way that makes more sense to Veterans’ experience.

Prior to this update, the calculation only included recently completed Veteran appointments. This measure applies to VA facilities using VA’s existing electronic health record and scheduling system.

Average wait times represent one general measure of access to care. Another way to measure access is using the Third Next Available Appointment (TNAA). As VA implements its new electronic health record, VA is transitioning to TNAA.

TNAA is a measure of appointment availability that displays the number of days between today’s date and the date of the third-next appointment available in VA’s scheduling system. It is possible a Veteran could be seen sooner depending on their preference and ability to make a first or second available appointment.

TNAA is considered a more accurate measure of elective service availability than the next available appointment or second-next available appointment. Such appointments may become available due to a cancellation or other event that is not predictable or reliable.

Ensuring Veterans have timely access to care

The technology in our new electronic health record system allows us to use this more modern, industry standard measure at these sites.

These updates ensure Veterans will have online access to information and wait times at their local facility and facilities across the country. VA’s commitment to continuous improvement ensures our Veterans receive timely access to world-class care, when and where they need it.

Accesstocare.va.gov has been updated with more information that’s easier to access and understand. It’s a useful tool to help Veterans and their caregivers plan their health care. Veterans now have a more complete picture of appointment wait times at their nearest facility or other medical centers in the VA network. Visit Accesstocare.va.gov, today!

By Rick Fox

public affairs officer for Executive Communications & Outreach, VA Integrated Veteran Care

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Published on Jul. 26, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.3 min.

Views to date: 14,400

33 Comments

  1. Xclusivpop August 24, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    That would be great and am glad to hear .

    50 years spent in the same home. My expenses are still the same, with the apparent exception of groceries and a single fewer automobile. What does that even mean? There must be more widows from this time period as well. Of course, we can’t go out and get jobs once we’re 75 or older. Thank you for taking our husbands and making us below the poverty line.

  2. Beatrice Pinto August 17, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    My husband passed away May 19. He was on 100 % disability. He was a Viet Nam Vet Bronze star Sgt. Gov basically killed him. Diabetics, Lewybody Parkinson’s and just about everything else from agent orange. I lovingly took care of him all the time. He passed and they cut the Benefits down to basically to 1/3. We were married 52 yrs. Lived in the same house for 50 yrs. My bills are still the same as before except, obviously groceries, down 1 car. How does that compute. I’m sure there are other widows from this era as well. Obviously at 75 & over we can’t go out and get jobs. Thanks for putting us below poverty levels as well as taking our spouses.

  3. ron b, August 2, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    That access to care would include appropriate wait times seems logical,
    I assume certain metrics are used to establish whether people are being seen in a timely manner.
    The question remains, if staff with unmanageable workloads are scrambling to process patients to meet established wait-time mandates,
    are any qualitative needs review, analysis, followup, diagnosis, appropriate next steps , etc being provided during those visits?

  4. Franklin D Kirkbride July 29, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Is there a health sign in To view doctors and test. My wife has My Chart. Does VA have anything like that we can access.

  5. Wendell Stephenson July 29, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I need to get my VA disability re-evaluated

  6. Larry Howard Banning July 28, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    I entered “dental” in the search box and the system found nothing.

  7. Marion Schmitz July 28, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    The VA has made so many “improvements” to its online access that it now longer works. Six months ago, My HealtheVet worked pretty well. Now we have other options: login.gov, ID.me, DS Login, or MyHealtheVet. Mostly each of these just bounce a person to yet another site. For example if one selects MyHealtheVet and looks at the appointments page, it is not up to date and one is directed to check yet another page, My VA Health. This system is so maddingly complex and confusing that the obvious conclusion is that it was designed to discourage vets from doing anything online. The VA needs to start over and have one and only one site to log in to that actually works.

    • jane doe July 28, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      True! I get irritated and discouraged. The phone numbers with the AI robots is irritating, too. I’m wondering if there will be an increase in suicides.

    • jane doe July 28, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      True! I get irritated and discouraged. The phone numbers with the AI robots is irritating, too.
      Lol we’re still doing “hurry up and wait”. I requested an ENT appointment in April 2022. Someone denies & tells my community care doctor I need more evidence for the referral. In June, I fall unconscious & explain to a live VA nurse on the phone this accident should have been prevented by VA approving my referral. I just had VA ENT exam yesterday. Doc put in a request for MRI of inner ear and brain. Doc says I need to do “due diligence” and follow thru. I know MRI are expensive. I got to be patient because I don’t have any money to pay for it. Hopefully, VA will pay for it. God’s blessings upon all us ??VET’S.

    • al August 6, 2022 at 2:40 pm

      I agree 100% one time you can access your copay billing then the next you log on, its gone.

    • Dysfunctional Veteran August 10, 2022 at 7:44 am

      I also agree 100%!!!!!
      Question: Why doesn’t my VA medication list follow me when I change/switch VA facility’s/hospitals? It’s not doctor shopping for meds because I refuse to ingest a controlled substances medication for more than 10 days in a row!!!! I don’t need that monkey on my back too!!!!

      My Primary Care doctor in Columbus can’t see what medication the Primary Care doctor from Dayton (which are in the same state and a 10 minute driving difference from my home and uses the same pharmacy, to fills and distribute the medications) {more on that later on in this reply}) put me on with out switching to the different VA hospital operating system med list. Which leaves the individual’s to ask the new PC to check the other med list before prescribing a new med so they can check how the meds interact. There is nothing like leaving that responsibility up to the patient with PTSD + other problems and is most likely OVER medicated to begin with or doesn’t know that their doc can’t see the old/other list because it’s a different system!!!

      I have been to different VA’s in different states. 3 in my home state and one when I was out of town. NONE of them, INCLUDING my self, can access my health records from one place/site. If I want to order or check my VA prescriptions, I have to go to all 3 VA hospitals, (WITH IN THE SAME STATE) to order my medications that I take every day!!!! AND all 3 have a different prosses on how the order is placed!!!! For example,,, 1 VA facility, I can order multiple medications from before it sends my request to be filled, and will come (depending on availability at the time) will all come in the same package. Now seeing I transferred to a different VA hospital, IN THE SAME STATE, I have to go to that facility’s web page, SIGN BACK IN, and order the rest of my medications, THIS TIME (VA facility) each medication I click to order is a separate request which each request is shipped separately, each medication, from THE SAME FASILITY, is shipped in a separate package. I understand it cost me noting for meds or shipping, but multiply the shipping cost by 10,000 individuals, then multiply that by the number of different meds those 10,000 individuals ordered, with the cost of shipping and packaging. It’s a waste of funds that can be used for other VA expenses/programs.

      PLUSE,,,(continued from line 2 of paragraph 2) I have one medication that I take 12 pills a day of and get a 90 day supply every time I order that prescription. Which equals 1080 pills every order. Which the pharmacy put 210 pills in 5 orange bottles plus 1 smaller orange bottle to complete the order of 1080 pill. (that’s 6 orange bottles). Which they take out of a manufactured sealed white bottle. (the white bottles come with the air tight seal under the bottle cover) Each white bottle contains 270 pills. 270 X 4 = 1080!!!!!

      Take the money that could be saved from fixing that problem and the shipping problem, mentioned earlier, and find someone who knows computer system programing stuff that KNOWS what they are doing and fix the MYHEALTHVET system. When that is finished take that money and hire more healthcare workers to relieve the over worked ones that exists now!!

      Ps. I will not respond to any emails populated from this reply. I don’t need an apology (if you were thinking of giving on) or for you to fix MY problem)fix the system!!!! Further more, IF you can’t understand what I have wrote you NEED to find a new job!!!!
      “that is all” for now anyway!!!

  8. Ronald Piava July 28, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Dental care so hard to come by and so expensive. I’m only 50% disabled and this is a problem to afford.

    • Flegal July 28, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      FYI look on your my health va, I purchase Dental insurance from the VA policy 18 months ago and have been happy.
      The only thing I don’t like is, In my opinion that it states TWO CLEANING per year, or one per 6 months, I have to have my done 3 times a year.

      In my Opinion the policy should state, up to TWO cleanings per year that can be billed, so myself or anyone else could increase the times we have to get our teeth cleaned. Thanks

  9. John Glenn July 28, 2022 at 11:36 am

    I used to be able to check and refill my Rx’s online. This was a very valuable service.
    Sadly, no longer available for last 2- 3 years with the incompetent transition to “prime” accounts which are impossible to sign up for. The required “ID Me” verification system is garbage.

  10. Patrick Kelly July 28, 2022 at 11:01 am

    When are they going to improve toll reinbursement times, they owe me hundreds of dollars in toll fees I have already paid to the PA Turnpike !!

  11. james robert stewart July 28, 2022 at 10:53 am

    This is useless for me i went to Porto Rico v.a. Arrived at hospital at 7 am waited till 7:30 pm to see doctor. Was told doctor will arrive but gave no time. They gave me one night at v.a. hotel [ 4 story hotel i was only person on 4 floor it was empty] Next day told i would have to pay $150 us per day from then on hotel still empty on 4 floor ! At hospital was told i would have to stay there until i could see doctor [i asked when and they said they did not know.] Finally see doctor no exam [did not even take my tempature ] Told normally 2 months to get any testing done and then procede with treatment. I had hernia that could have been done in one day. They then told me they would not pay me travel pay. [I live in the Dominican Republic] So i got on the plane and went home ! To see if travel pay was not going to be payed i filled out form and mailed it to V.A. Porto Rico. It was unopened and returned to me no address found. I spent over 600 dollars going there only to get MISTREATED ! Can nothing be done about this i still have hernia and will have it fixed at my cost in the Dominican republic. HOOORAY FOR THE V.A. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Clenton Blake July 28, 2022 at 10:40 am

    i just visit the spokane va they have a newsystem it was a big improvement i hope they keep it

  13. dave a tortorice July 28, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Just another tool that will not improve service when you need it

    • Jan July 31, 2022 at 8:19 am

      Trying to get Transportation from Oakwood Texas to Temple or Waco is horrible. Are they ever going to get drivers from the Palestine clinic to Temple or Waco again? Are they even trying?

  14. ray July 28, 2022 at 9:46 am

    i would like to send a positive comment about the VA health care i found it to be great and very supportive to my needs my brother also hets his care from the va in OR which it appaears to me his needs as well as mind you keep up the great work

  15. William Heins July 28, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Looking forward to using it

  16. FAY JOHNSON July 28, 2022 at 9:21 am

    I AM HAVEING TROUBLE WITH MY HEAEING AID . THEAREIST APOINTMET I COULD GET WAS 10/14 2022.

  17. James Lafever July 28, 2022 at 8:07 am

    I am not on a military disability now can i get any help to purchase a hearing device?

  18. R R Julian July 28, 2022 at 6:49 am

    I have no problems with wait times at the Hampton VA facility. All of the personnel are helpful and attentive.

  19. Edward Rau July 28, 2022 at 2:42 am

    On Hawaii island, almost all veterans health care, except for the most minor services that can be performed in clinics are outsourced to community providers. In this situation wait time calculations do not reflect the actual access time patients endure:

    1. Clinics often do not answer the phones, even during normal clinic hours and may fail to return voicemail. So veterans wishing to make an appointment at a VA clinic face significant delays in accessing care that will not be captured by your calculation method.
    2. Veterans needing to make appointments for referrals to outsourced providers may face long delays getting VA approvals, and after approval, have to make appointments through layers of contractors. This system should track the time from when the VA physician referral was made to when the appointment was actually scheduled with the provider and the patient has been notified of the appointment.
    3. Many outside providers here refuse VA patients because of chronic payment issues. This may prevent veterans from getting appointments. Will the system track situations where veterans are unable to get appointments and have to seek treatment outside the VA system?
    4. This website fails to include an explanation the confidentiality of comments, Privacy Act compliance and what follow up actions will be taken in response to comments.

  20. Tom Manuilow July 27, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Internet and telephone Healthcare is not proper care for veterans. This is irresponsible and uncaring.

    • Roger Hogue July 28, 2022 at 10:42 am

      I agree!

    • Billy R. Fuller August 6, 2022 at 10:23 am

      I have not seen a doctor for a checkup in a year and a half. He called a couple of times and seemed rushed to finish.

  21. Miguel Pineda Slvarez July 27, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    I am presently under IU category due to my disabilities (R/L kness, lower back, right arm). Lately, I decided to put up rsilings in the bathroom due to accidental trippings. Am I qualified to get a refund for the costs of subj railings? If so, where do I file ky claim? God Bless and stay safe.

  22. CE Merrill July 27, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I needed a chuckle today! Don’t give up trying?

  23. Rich Wriught July 27, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    I’m amazed at the progress of VA using more technology! I’ve been “in the system” since 1970, and seen the “Bad”times, so I count this as something I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

  24. D July 27, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    will we soon be able to again schedule our own appts.?

  25. Jerry July 27, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    This is so stupid! How can a Third available appointment be sooner than the first or second available appointment.
    This sounds like more Government Gobbledygook. Who in the Gov. thought this up? We all learned as kids first is before third! Come on !

Comments are closed.

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