VA Seeks To Cut Down On Wait Times With ‘MinuteClinics’ Collaboration In Palo Alto
The VA Palo Alto Health Care System has launched a partnership with CVS in an effort to get veterans timely care for more acute conditions. In other news, critics are blasting VA Secretary Robert McDonald for comparing clinic wait times to long lines at Disneyland.
San Jose Mercury News:
VA Palo Alto Links Bay Area Veterans To CVS MinuteClinics
When former U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Christine Poblete comes down with the flu, an ear infection or other common illness, the San Jose resident usually calls the advice nurse at the Veterans Affairs San Jose Clinic or the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, seeking a timely appointment. But she can never be sure whether it will be that day or the next. Starting Tuesday, Poblete can ring the nurse and decide if she would rather head straight to the nearest of 11 Bay Area CVS Health MinuteClinics for treatment instead. (Seipel, 5/24)
CVS MinuteClinics: A Cure For Long Wait Times At Veterans Affairs?
Struggling with long wait times, the Veterans Affairs Health Care System is trying something new: a partnership with the CVS Pharmacy chain to offer urgent care services to more than 65,000 veterans. The experiment begins today at the VA’s operations in Palo Alto, California. Veterans can visit 14 “MinuteClinics” operated by CVS in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento, where staff will treat them for conditions such as respiratory infections, order lab tests and prescribe medications, which can be filled at CVS pharmacies. (Feder Ostrov, 5/24)
VA Secretary Compares Long Hospital Wait Times To Lines At Disneyland
Critics said Monday that Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald had trivialized the long-standing problem of lengthy wait times for appointments at California’s veterans medical centers by comparing them to waiting in long lines at Disneyland. His comments sparked an angry backlash from California lawmakers who felt that he had dismissed the angst and frustration of their constituents. McDonald made the comments Monday during a roundtable discussion with reporters hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. (Ybarra, 5/23)