Draper said VA should count from the day a veteran calls to request an appointment.
"Since 2000, and in particular, over the past five years, we have consistently reported on the VA's failure to ensure veterans timely access to health care," Draper told House Veterans Affairs Committee members on Tuesday.
The VA was rocked by scandal in 2014 when an investigation revealed that some VA hospitals maintained appointment schedules outside the official system, and lengthy delays in care contributed to some veterans' deaths.
"We think that from the time the veteran requests care and they actually receive care, this should be counted ... this is going to make VA a better system," she said.
"The obvious result of VA reporting only a portion of veterans' actual wait times is artificially low results. I still do not understand a culture that persists in presenting inaccurate data to this committee, or more important, to the veterans of this country," Miller said.
To accomplish this, he told the committee, he needed to install new leadership at the Veterans Health Administration and emphasize the VA's commitment to access among all employees.
All VHA employees now have a set of foundational principles called "MyVA Access Declaration," to guide them to providing timely care to former service members, according to Shulkin.
Lawmakers said Tuesday that the prolonged wait times at VA are an ongoing issue for constituents who must wait months for health care.
"You paint too rosy a picture," Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., told Shulkin. "The system is broken. The people in my district are frustrated and angry."
"The GAO is continuing to find fault in the way you collect data and how you are reporting it. You can understand why we are still skeptical that you are touting the number that 96 percent of all patients are seen before this arbitrary goal of 30 days," said Rep. Raul Ruiz, a medical doctor and California Democrat.
The House and Senate are currently working on veterans omnibus legislation that will address issues with the Veterans Choice program, including access to care, and accountability for VA employees who are found to be guilty of negligence or malfeasance in their duties.
Patricia Kime covers military and veterans health care and medicine for Military Times. She can be reached at email@example.com
Patricia Kime is a senior writer covering military and veterans health care, medicine and personnel issues.