The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides long-term care (LTC) for about 46,000 elderly and disabled veterans through a network of 132 nursing homes, and it is having trouble with handling care quality problems.
Officials from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) give that assessment of VA LTC quality control efforts.
The VA hired the Long Term Care Institute Inc., Madison, Wis., to conduct reviews of the VA nursing homes, which are called community living centers (CLCs), in 2007-2008 and again in 2010-2011.
Members of Congress asked the GAO to review the institute’s work.
VA officials themselves found after looking at institute data that, for example, that 90% of 116 nursing homes with deficiencies had problems with protecting residents’ dignity.
In some cases, for example, aides would apply ointments to a resident’s upper body in the nursing home dining room, in front of other patients, and leave uncovered catheter bags attached to residents’ wheelchairs.