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Long Wait For Hearing Aids

Waiting List for Consult

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17 replies to this topic

#1 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:57 PM

In early June of 2011 I was service connected for hearing loss. During my C&P exam, the audiologist told me I would benefit from hearing aids.
On June 14, 2011 my PCP requested a consult for hearing aids through the audiology department at VAMC Dublin, Georgia. At that time I was told there was a long waiting list for veterans requesting hearing aids. After waiting over seven months I decided to call the audiology department at VAMC Dublin and check on the status of my consult request. I was told that they could not tell me when I might receive an appointment because there were so many veterans ahead of me on the list. When I asked if I could go to another VAMC for an audiology consult, I was told I would not get a consult any faster anywhere else.

Is this a normal waiting period for an audiology consult, especially when service connected for hearing loss, or is this an isolated problem only occurring at my VAMC?

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...Georgiapapa

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#2 carlie

 
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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:07 PM

In my opinion, this is not normal nor acceptable.
I would contact the patient advocate at your VAMC to see if they
can provide any assistance.
JMHO

#3 Pete53

 
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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:58 PM

I use the Dallas VAMC and feel that the audiology department is very good. Most appointments I have had are within a couyple of weeks to no longer that 30 days. Someone is dropping the ball at your VA

#4 sleeper692

 
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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:05 AM

I have to agree with Carlie on this. Something doesn't sound right.

I called for an audiology exam and got an appointment at the Portland, OR VAMC in under 30 days. After my diagnosis of moderate hearing loss and tinnitus, I had my hearing aids in 30 days.

Unless they are severely understaffed then someone must be pulling your chain. Make an appointment with a patient advocate and let them run interference for you. You might be surprised what they can get done for you.

Pete

#5 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

My thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I called today and left a message for the patient advocate at VAMC Dublin to call me. Hopefully I will get a faster response from the patient advocate.

Georgiapapa...

#6 Boxer

 
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:18 PM

I would recommend making an appointment with your regular VA doctor. Tell him your depressed and anxious over your hearing loss and it seems to be getting worse, he will put in a consult to Audiology, up here in Minneapolis everything goes through your primary doctor, don't make difference what it is unless your bleeding to death, then they tell you to call 911. And for gods sake don't tell him you've tried on your own to make an appointment - that would just muddy the dark and mysterious VA waters.

#7 carlie

 
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

My thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I called today and left a message for the patient advocate at VAMC Dublin to call me. Hopefully I will get a faster response from the patient advocate.

Georgiapapa...


GP,
I'd also consider contacting my VAMC - PCP again and saying -
Hey doc - 7 months ago you put in a consult for an Audiology consult
for me for hearing aids - Do you have any idea why they haven't bothered to
honor your request yet ?
JMHO

My thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I called today and left a message for the patient advocate at VAMC Dublin to call me. Hopefully I will get a faster response from the patient advocate.

Georgiapapa...


Call them again tomorrow and the next day and so on - if needed.

#8 iceturkee

 
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:45 PM

In early June of 2011 I was service connected for hearing loss. During my C&P exam, the audiologist told me I would benefit from hearing aids.
On June 14, 2011 my PCP requested a consult for hearing aids through the audiology department at VAMC Dublin, Georgia. At that time I was told there was a long waiting list for veterans requesting hearing aids. After waiting over seven months I decided to call the audiology department at VAMC Dublin and check on the status of my consult request. I was told that they could not tell me when I might receive an appointment because there were so many veterans ahead of me on the list. When I asked if I could go to another VAMC for an audiology consult, I was told I would not get a consult any faster anywhere else.

Is this a normal waiting period for an audiology consult, especially when service connected for hearing loss, or is this an isolated problem only occurring at my VAMC?

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...Georgiapapa



i never had to wait that long for an appointment whether it was gainesville or daytona beach!

#9 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

It has been three weeks and my patient advocate has not responded to repeated messages I have left on his voice mail.

During my mental health appointment yesterday at my local VA outpatient center, I told my psychologist about the problem I was having trying to get an audiology consult since June 14, 2011. I told her this was stressing me out because due to my hearing problems and the fact that my oncologist is a soft spoken gentleman from India, I have trouble understanding him when he is explaining the results of my latest diagnostic tests.

My psychologist made some phone calls to some of her contacts at my VAMC and learned that my PCP (PA) did not bother to request a consult until December 28, 2011. She said my PCP dropped the ball and I should have already had an appointment. She told me she would talk with someone at the VAMC and if I did not receive a notice of an appointment within the next couple of weeks, I should file a request for an appointment with an outside audiologist on a fee basis due to the VAMC not providing me with an appointment within a reasonable amount of time.

Has anyone ever heard of the VA permitting veterans to go outside the VA for an audiology consult on a fee basis?

How does this work and is there a certain form I would have to use to request approval?

Thanks...Georgiapapa

#10 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:47 AM

Prior to talking with my psychologist on 2/13/2012, I had telephoned the VA Outpatient Center around the end of January 2012 and left a message for my PCP advising him to please check on the status of my audiology consult. During a previuos mental health appointment, I had completed a form at the front desk of the VA Outpatient Center on December 2, 2011 in which I asked them to check on the status of my audiology consult. The lady at the front desk said she would give this form to my PCP. I assumed they were making an effort to speed up my appointment but since they did not bother to even request a consult until December 28, 2011 I am seriously thinking about requesting a different PCP.

Georgiapapa...

#11 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:29 AM

One day after my psychologist made some phone calls on my behalf I received a telephone call from the audiology department at my local VAMC. They set me up with an appointment for March 12th and they apologized for the delay. This is another example of what the VA can do to resolve problems quickly if only they would just make a real effort to do so.

Thanks to everyone who offered their assistance.

Georgiapapa...

#12 Pete53

 
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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

More than one way to skin a cat. Nice to hear.

#13 chr49

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

Is this a normal waiting period for an audiology consult, especially when service connected for hearing loss, or is this an isolated problem only occurring at my VAMC?

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...Georgiapapa
----------------------------------------
Georgiapapa...
I am service connected for hearing loss. In Oct. my PCP ordered an audiology consult because I was having increased hearing issues & trouble with my hearing aides. I went for my appointment yesterday, Feb. 17 (almost 4 months). They re-evaluated me and did measurements for new hearing aides. I have an appointment for 2 months from now to have the new hearing aides custom fitted. Every specialist consult i've had recently has taken 3-4 months to get set up. The longest wait has been for a neurologist consult for which I have an appointment in July 2012 (requested by PCP - Oct. 2011).

Edited by chr49, 17 February 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#14 Teac

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

Well I know it is not normal to wait a long time for hearing aids....

But it will also depend on the VA medical center that the veteran has to deal with..

last week I requested an appointment due to continued problems with my hearing ( 0% hearing, 10% tinnitis)...I was given an appointment for yesterday which was less than a week from the time I requested it. The examiner gave me a new hearing test and I really struggled with responding to the beeps, and words.. I was told at the end of the test that my hearing has gotten worse in 4 frequencies in my right ear.. and 1 frequency in my left ear. The doctor scheduled me for a return appointment on 8 Mar to be fitted with new hearing aids that he said will be blue tooth compatable (what ever that is) as well as some kind of FM receiver to work in conjuction with hearing aids, that he said will help me in noisy situtations... he also sent a consult to EENT because he is concerned that my hearing loss is abnormal --said it was unusual to have more hearing loss in one ear than the other in just the last year, is concerned something else may be going on....

I don't really know how bad my hearing loss is, but I will be getting a copy of the exams and then if I can decifer it to see if the conditon is now compensable......I have a stinking feeling based on what the doctor said....that my hearing loss is profound.......

So here in San Antonio it takes a long time to get an eye appointment...3 months.. but less than a week to see the audiology....

#15 donh777

 
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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:39 PM

My pcp put in my request at Muskogee, on sept. 13/2011.. Had hearing test on 2/16/12 and return visit for the hearing aids is 4/09/2012. Left is is completely gone so they are getting an amplifier for the left ear and a tube behind the neck to channel it to the right is which has mild-moderate loss in it.What excuse can I use for the wife then....

#16 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:35 AM

Update:

After waiting nine months, I finally had my hearing test for hearing aids on March 12th. Severe hearing loss in the left ear and moderate to severe hearing loss in right ear. Almost identical results to my hearing loss C&P in February 2011. I was told I would receive my hearing aids in 4 to 6 weeks.

When I told the doctor in the audiology clinic about my nine month wait, she said to consider myself lucky. She advised me they have over 2000 veterans on the waiting list for hearing aids at the Dublin VA Medical Center and they schedule veterans who are service connected for hearing loss (such as myself) before non-service connected veterans. She also said they have just started scheduling non-service connected veterans for appointments who submitted requests in January 2011. This is amazing since the audiology department at the Dublin VAMC just opened in August 2011.

I guess the waiting time is different at each VAMC depending on the number of audiologists on hand and the length of the waiting list.


Georgiapapa...

#17 carlie

 
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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:54 AM

When I told the doctor in the audiology clinic about my nine month wait, she said to consider myself lucky. She advised me they have over 2000 veterans on the waiting list for hearing aids at the Dublin VA Medical Center and they schedule veterans who are service connected for hearing loss (such as myself) before non-service connected veterans. She also said they have just started scheduling non-service connected veterans for appointments who submitted requests in January 2011. This is amazing since the audiology department at the Dublin VAMC just opened in August 2011.

Georgiapapa...


papa,

So I'm just wondering if, in her to tell you how backed up their clinic is, did / does this action:

1) Provided her some personal lack and freedom from any responsibility for the situation ?

2) Make her feel good with this type of sublime intimidation, making a vet feel they are lucky
or need to grovel in thanks, for being provided care and treatment for SC'd conditions ?

3) Embarrass her to the point of offering an apology on behalf of this VAMC, for the extended
wait veterans must endure ?

4) Show that in any way on her part, a feeling that this is not acceptable care and treatment ?

Most likely, if any of the above are applicable -
my bet is on # 2.

JMHO

#18 georgiapapa

 
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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:46 AM

Carlie,

I would also pick #2. She definitely was not apologetic in anyway.

Based on her comments about the long waiting list, you would expect to see a full waiting room in the audiology clinic. I had the first appointment of the day at 8:30 a.m. There did not appear to be a shortage of personnel in the clinic. One employee checked me in, another employee sat with me while I filled out a questionnaire about my hearing loss, the doctor handled my actual hearing exam and an audiology technician made the molds for my ears. I looked at the sign in list at the front desk as I was leaving at 10:07 a.m.. Only one other veteran had checked in after me. There must have been some last minute appointment cancellations or perhaps they schedule their breaks in between each appointment.


Georgiapapa...




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