June 21, 2018

Cortez Masto Introduces Amendment to Require VA Inspector General to Investigate Veterans Nursing Homes with Quality Concerns, Including Reno Facility

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced an amendment that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s office to conduct an investigation of all VA nursing homes rated an overall one-star rating in the two years prior to the enactment of her amendment. A newly released report by the VA identified a Reno veterans nursing home that received a one-star rating in 2016. Overall ratings measure the quality of care and staffing provided to veterans, and patient survey categories. 

“The VA must continue to monitor the conditions our aging veterans live in and work to improve the quality of care provided in poorly run nursing facilities,” said Cortez Masto. “For all the sacrifices they’ve made serving our country, Nevada’s veterans deserve the best care we can provide. This amendment ensures that we do not overlook their needs and requires the VA to improve the care provided to our veterans.” 

The data released by the VA revealed that nearly half of all the VA nursing home facilities received one out of five stars for quality of care, which is the lowest possible rating. The data also revealed that VA facilities fall well below the average among private sector facilities on a series of other indicators, including rates of anti-psychotic drug prescription and residents’ deterioration. Senator Cortez Masto is particularly focused on addressing the challenges identified by the new data, as one of them is in Nevada – VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (VASNHCS) in Reno received a one-star rating in Quality in 2016. Since the 2016 assessment, VASNHCS took steps to raise its overall rating to three stars and the Quality rating to two stars. Senator Cortez Masto’s amendment will ensure the facility continues to focus on increasing the quality of care and overall services it provides veterans.

Text of the amendment can be found HERE.