Michigan to Start Major Revamp of Veterans Nursing Homes

Below is a summary for the article : Michigan to Start Major Revamp of Veterans Nursing Homes by USNews

*Note: Image used belongs to www.usnews.com

*Note: Image used belongs to www.usnews.com

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is starting a major revamp of how nursing care is provided to veterans, with plans to ultimately transition from two homes in the western and far-northern regions to seven new, smaller ones spread across the state.

The initiative – billed as the most substantial change to the system since the first veterans home opened in Grand Rapids 131 years ago – stems from new, bipartisan state laws that officials say will lead to higher-quality care for more veterans.

Talks began last year after a state audit uncovered insufficient care, inadequate staffing levels and other problems at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Institutional veterans homes need to be replaced in favor of smaller-scale housing and expanded to other parts of the state, state officials say.

“If that were to come to fruition, we would be providing care much closer to where the veterans live now, and their families are going to be closer to them,” said James Redford, who Republican Gov. Rick Snyder named to lead the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency in February 2016 as part of a shakeup after the critical audit was released.

A third of the state’s 640,000 veterans live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The overhaul comes as veterans homes grapple with rising health care costs, an increasing inability of residents to afford the care and standards that are out of step with best practices within the long-term care industry.

Though the state is getting more per-diem reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, they are not offsetting declining resident income – meaning the state’s general fund spending is higher.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan is among some in Congress who are pushing to more than triple what is typically allotted for constructing and renovating state homes, to $300 million nationally, said Brad Slagle, interim CEO of the Michigan Veteran Health System.

“We think our projects are going to be near that No. 10 spot on the new list,” he said, adding that roughly 150 state veterans homes across the U.S. assist more than 30,000 veterans in need of long-term care – more than the VA does and at a lower cost.

 

To read more information, visit the original article : https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/michigan/articles/2017-04-30/michigan-to-start-major-revamp-of-veterans-nursing-homes
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