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House Committee Announces Investigation of Veterans’ Nursing Homes

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysWhile most of the “Greatest Generation” is gone, there are still thousands of military veterans who require the type of care that is only available in a nursing home. Our nation owes the brave men and women who have served a debt of gratitude, but it seems those who are in need of skilled nursing care are often not able to get it through the government agency that purports to protect veterans. Following a scathing report by USA Today and the Boston Globe, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee announced this week that it plans to investigate the care being provided at the 133 nursing homes run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nationwide.

Troubling Numbers

Last month, an investigative report by USA Today and the Boston Globe revealed that many of the VA’s nursing homes were providing substandard care to their residents. The report also pulled back the proverbial curtain on the VA’s secret ratings and quality measures. The reports’ findings suggest that Department was happy to keep its quality indicators a secret because the numbers were not good. In fact, nearly half (60) of all VA nursing homes received just one star out of five for overall quality—using the VA’s own ranking system.

Other documents obtained by the news outlets showed that patients in over two-thirds of VA nursing homes were more likely to suffer from bedsores and pain than patients in private-sector facilities. Overall, the VA’s nursing homes scored poorly against private facilities in most key quality indicators, including patients’ decline in daily living skills and the rate of use of anti-psychotic medications.

Countering the Claims

According to the VA, the residents in the agency’s facilities receive good care but that VA nursing home residents are generally sicker than private-sector patients. The VA also said that it welcomes the investigation. The VA oversees nursing homes in 46 states, serving about 46,000 veterans. According to the data obtained in the investigation, two of the three VA facilities in the Chicago region received two stars out of five while the third got three stars.

As the investigation begins, there is also legislation being considered that would force the VA to release all of its nursing home quality information in the future. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed hope for new transparency by the VA.

Contact Us for Help

If your loved one has experienced substandard care in any type of nursing home or skilled nursing facility, an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help you understand your options for taking action. Call 312-535-4625 to schedule a free consultation at Schwartz Injury Law today.



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