Sixty of the 133 VA nursing homes that serve 46,000 veterans annually in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and in Puerto Rico received the lowest rating – one star – for quality, as of December 31, 2017. The one-star VA nursing homes are located in 32 states, with Pennsylvania being the state with the most one-star facilities – five – and Texas and California each having four one-star VA nursing homes.
VA nursing homes scored worse than private sector nursing homes on 9 of 11 key indicators in 2017, including rates of deterioration in residents and the use of anti-psychotic drugs.
The VA had given only 13 of its nursing homes a one-star rating before the VA changed its rating system from comparing its nursing homes to each other, to a system that compares the VA nursing homes to private nursing homes, which resulted in the number of one-star-rated VA nursing homes to increase more than four-fold. Under the new rating system, more than 100 of the VA’s nursing homes throughout the United States rated worse than private nursing homes on a majority of the quality indicators. The VA tries to explain the poor ratings of its nursing homes compared to private nursing homes by stating that its residents have more complicated medical conditions than private nursing home residents.
The 11 cities containing VA nursing homes with a 1-star rating for care quality and surprise inspections are:
1. Bedford, Mass.
2. Biloxi, Miss.
3. Chillicothe, Ohio
4. Dayton, Ohio
5. Dublin, Ga.
6. Jackson, Miss.
7. Lyons, N.J.
8. Prescott, Ariz.
9. Salisbury, N.C.
10. Tampa, Fla.
11. Tuscaloosa, Ala.
To view the USA Today and The Boston Globe’s complete database of VA nursing homes derived from their joint investigation, click here.
The VA responded to the findings of the investigation by USA Today and The Boston Globe by stating, in part:
“Of note, VA nursing homes often serve residents with more numerous and challenging medical conditions than do private sector facilities.
Specifically, VA nursing homes serve a much higher proportion of residents with conditions such as prostate obstruction, spinal cord injury, mental illness, homelessness, PTSD, combat injury, terminal illness, and other conditions rarely seen in private nursing homes.
Also, private sector nursing homes admit patients selectively, whereas – unlike the private sector – VA will not refuse service to any eligible Veteran, no matter how challenging the Veteran’s conditions are to treat. In other words, VA nursing homes often house residents with more complex medical needs that private sector facilities will not accept, which makes achieving good quality ratings more challenging.
As a result, VA nursing homes at times rate lower than private sector facilities on specific metrics such as pain and type of treatment. Despite that fact, VA nursing homes compare well with private sector facilities in overall facility rankings.”
“In fact, the overall star rating for VA’s nursing homes compared to the 15,487 private sector nursing homes rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that VA has a significantly lower percentage (34.1 percent lower) of one-star, or lowest rated, facilities than the rest of the nation.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a VA nursing home due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, a nursing home fall, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a VA nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a VA nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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