The medical system that provides care to Maryland's veterans signed a one-year contract with Evergreen Health Care in Baltimore to offer primary health services to new patients, federal and co-op officials said Thursday.
The $485,000 contract aims to cut down on wait times that had become some of the worst in the nation. A June audit found Central Maryland's veterans were waiting an average of 80 days to see a primary-care doctor for an initial visit, the fourth longest wait in the nation. Though, more recently officials said the wait had fallen to under 76 days.
The VA Maryland Health Care System asked for help in treating the new patients from outside health care providers, and Evergreen offered its services.
VA officials also said they have hired additional primary care providers, re-introduced Saturday primary care clinics and prioritized patient needs.
New VA patients will have the choice to go to an Evergreen clinic or use VA facilities.
An earlier version misstated the name of Evergreen Health Care. The Sun regrets the error.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun