Senate Passes Cassidy-Jones Legislation to Improve Veteran Nursing Home Care
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Doug Jones (D-AL), members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statements today after the Senate passed their legislation requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to publish the quality ratings of its 133 nursing homes nationwide, including all internal metrics and criteria used in determining the ratings. The legislation passed as an amendment to the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 5895).
“Our veterans deserve the best care in all stages of life. For years, the VA has kept the quality data of their nursing homes a secret,” said Dr. Cassidy. “While I’m glad the VA recently took steps to address this, we need full transparency so we can hold the VA accountable and provide our veterans with the best nursing home care possible.”
“Our veterans and their loved ones have given a great deal in service to our country, which is why I was so appalled by reports of very poor ratings and the unwillingness of the VA to be more transparent with this important data,” said Senator Jones. “Having every available piece of information is critical to veterans and their families as they determine where they will live and receive care, during what is unquestionably the most vulnerable stage of their lives. I am confident that this report will help the VA provide the kind of care that our men and women who served our country deserve.”
USA Today and the Boston Globe recently reported that more than 100 VA nursing homes, including its facility in Pineville, Louisiana, “scored worse than private nursing homes on a majority of key quality indicators, which include rates of infection and decline in daily living skills, according to the analysis of data withheld by the VA from public view.”
The amendment is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NV), and Todd Young (R-IN).
Other provisions benefiting Louisiana in H.R. 5895 include: