Secret VA Nursing Home Ratings Revealed

Nursing homes operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) serve 46,000 veterans annually in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For years, the VA has monitored care at its nursing facilities through quality indicators and unannounced inspections, and, since 2016, through star rankings based on 11 key indicators, including rates of residents being in pain, rates of antipsychotic drug prescription and contracting urinary infections, rates of falls or bed sores and residents’ deterioration. Until now, however, the agency has kept all of these quality measures from the public view, depriving veterans of potentially crucial health care information. Nearly half of VA nursing homes nationwide — 60 — received the agency’s lowest ranking of one out of five stars as of Dec. 31, 2017, according to documents obtained by USA Today and The Boston Globe. Statistics the VA has not released paint a picture of government nursing homes that scored…

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