VA to ease grant process for rural veteran nursing homes

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is planning to propose changes to regulations for its State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program to make it easier for states to receive VA funding to construct veterans homes in rural areas, VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin announced this week.

State veterans homes provide veterans with nursing home, domiciliary or adult day health care and are owned, operated and managed by state governments.

Currently, the construction grant regulations focus on veteran demographics as well as nursing home and domiciliary bed need within a state to determine priority group placement based on projected demand for assistance. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for some rural areas to compete for VA State Home Construction Grants.

In highly rural areas, one State Veterans Home could be 500 miles from the next, which gives family members limited options when searching for a conveniently located facility for a veteran family member.

By incorporating a consideration for the need of veterans in rural areas into the ranking priorities for grant applications in the regulations, rural states may find it easier to compete for the limited VA construction grant funding that is available.

“We want to remove the red tape,” said Secretary Shulkin. “Veterans in rural areas need to be able to get nursing home care when it’s needed as close as possible to their homes, families and friends. Changes in VA regulations can save families from having to travel long distances to visit a loved one in a facility far from home.”

The VA hopes to draft the revisions by the end of 2017 and then make them available for a period of public comment.

Read more information about State Veterans Homes on the VA’s long-term care web page.

 

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