Tenn. VA facilities among longest for wait times

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Veterans Affairs audit has found that two health care facilities in Tennessee have among the nation's longest wait times for new patients to receive specialist care.

New patients at the Middle Tennessee Healthcare System had to wait 71 days for specialist care, ranking sixth-longest among all facilities. The Mountain Home facility near Johnson City ranked ninth, with a wait of 67 days.

The audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics around the country found that a 14-day goal for seeing first-time patients was unattainable given the growing demand among veterans for health care and poor planning. The VA has since abandoned that goal.

The audit flagged VA facilities in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and McMinnville for further review.

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