Veterans Affairs Hides Horrible Nursing Home Conditions
For many years, the VA knew that its nursing homes ranked lower than privately run nursing homes on several key measures of patient care. However, the VA hid this knowledge from the public until USA Today and The Boston Globe recently started asking questions. As a result of the two newspapers’ investigative journalists, we now know more about the problems at VA nursing homes. The truth that has been revealed is shocking and depressing.
Half of VA Nursing Homes Received Lowest Possible Rating
What the newspapers learned was that almost half of the VA hospitals received an overall rating of one out of five stars – the lowest rating possible. There were problems throughout the country, with VA nursing homes in 32 states having at least one of the lowest-ranked homes. States that had the lowest-ranked homes included Pennsylvania, California and Texas.
Quality of Care Lags Behind in VA Nursing Homes
Compared to nursing homes in the private sector, VA nursing homes on average had a higher percentage of patients who:
- Reported being in pain.
- Were prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.
- Had a notable loss in their abilities to perform everyday functions.
- Had catheters left in their bladders.
- Had bed stores.
In some cases, the differences between VA and private nursing homes were small. However, the percentage of patients who recently reported pain was almost six times higher in VA than in private nursing homes. Additionally, the percentage of patients who had catheters left in their bladders was more than six times higher at the VA homes.
VA Not Required to Release Data to the Public
Federal law requires privately run nursing homes to release a great deal of information to the public about the quality of their care. Garcia & Artigliere nursing home attorneys have successfully brought nursing home deficiencies to light in numerous elder abuse cases. The VA, however, is not required to release quality-of-care information to the public. This is a big obstacle for people who are trying to find the best nursing homes for their relatives who are veterans.
After the newspapers started asking questions, the VA released their star ratings, but they did not release their more detailed reports. Advocates for nursing home patients want the VA to release all of the information immediately.
A Nursing Home Attorney Can Help
If you suspect that a loved one is being neglected, mistreated, or abused in a nursing home, the experienced nursing home attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere are able to help. Call us at (800) 281-8515 to find out more about how we can help your loved one.