On Thursday, the Office of the Auditor General released a performance audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, which provides nursing care and services to military veterans, windows, spouses, former spouses and parents of State veterans. The home has been plagued with issues and complaints over the years, leading to the legislature providing additional financial support in 2014 to start modernizing the facility. In total, during the 2015 Fiscal Year, the home received $14.5 million in State funding, $19.5 million in federal funding, and $15.1 million from member assessments and private donations.
The audit was conducted from October 1, 2013 through August 31, 2015 and focused on areas such as medical administration, handling of complaints, staffing shortages and non-narcotic pharmaceutical controls. The results found several concerns within the home, including that 43% of member location checks did not occur, despite the documentation provided by the home stating that they occurred 100% of the time. The audit also found that the contractor failed to meet staffing requirements 81% of the time during a four-month sample. Another area found that the home failed to establish adequate controls of the estimated $5.2 million of nonnarcotic pharmaceuticals. In addition to the concerns mentioned, there were several other within the report ranging from not properly billing insurance companies to not sufficiently tracking allegations of abuse and neglect. As a result of the findings, the director of the Michigan Veteran’s Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes, resigned. James Redford, chief legal counsel to Governor Rick Snyder, has been named interim director.
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