Study: Month-plus wait times boost mortality

A new study has concluded that patients who wait longer than a month to get treatment are more likely to die within six months of their medical visit. Researchers found that patients who waited 31 days or more to visit medical facilities were 20 percent more likely to die during a six-month follow-up period. The study, which appeared in the journal Health Services Research, found that the effect was particularly noticeable for elderly patients. On the positive side, the study suggests that wait times under 30 days don't have any measurable effect on mortality. Along the way, the researchers noted that while few healthcare organizations systematically even track wait times, the Veteran's Administration healthcare system is both tracking and managing wait times effectively.

To learn more about the study:
- read this United Press International item