Michigan veterans facilities must now issue quarterly reports

Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed a bill that requires the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to provide reports about veterans’ health care in state facilities four times a year.

The department must send written updates to the governor and Legislature about issues at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. The reports will include information about staffing levels, timeliness of medication distribution, patient complaints, number of veteran deaths and accountability of patients’ money.

The measure is an effort to ensure conditions at the facilities are better monitored. It follows a February audit that revealed a wide range of problems at the state-run Grand Rapids veterans facility, which provides care to more than 430 veterans. The report raised concerns about low staffing, workers’ failure to check on patients and allegations of abuse and neglect that went uninvestigated. In addition, residents’ safety was compromised because workers failed to conduct alarm checks.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague. “Our state’s veterans deserve the highest standards of care available, and this bill helps ensure that the conditions of veterans’ homes are evaluated and reported on more consistently and effectively,” Snyder said in a statement.

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