VA Review: No Patient Deaths Linked to Wait Times

Aug 6, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Veterans Affairs officials in New Mexico say a review has determined there was no link between the deaths of dozen veterans and their place on the waiting list for medical care.

Amid an investigation into lapses in care, the New Mexico VA health care system initially identified 21 people who died while waiting to see a doctor. Officials promised to investigate each case to determine if the wait was a factor in their deaths.

The health care system ended up finding an additional 167 patients who died while awaiting various appointments, but VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown confirmed Tuesday there was no association with the wait times and the deaths.

The VA learned of the patients' deaths while reaching out to more than 1,000 veterans who were waiting to see primary care doctors or receive specialty care.