11 charged with allegedly falsifying records at Michigan veterans facility

Share this content:
Eleven former certified nursing assistants are charged with intentionally including misleading or inaccurate information in patient medical records
Eleven former certified nursing assistants are charged with intentionally including misleading or inaccurate information in patient medical records

Eleven former employees of a Michigan veterans long-term care facility are facing charges alleging they falsified medical documents, officials announced Monday.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office began investigating complaints against the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans in 2016, after the state's auditor general released a “highly critical” report on the facility. The auditor's report included findings that showed employees only performed 43% of required resident room checks and 33% of fall alarm checks, despite documenting that 100% of room checks and 96% of fall alarm checks had been completed.

Schuette's office said 11 former certified nursing assistants at the facility have been charged with intentionally including misleading or inaccurate information in patient medical records, in connection with the auditor's room check findings. If convicted, the employees could face up to four years in prison or fines as high as $5,000.

The lack of room checks could have led to “delayed treatment of acute medical conditions, residents laying in soiled beds for prolonged periods of time, and other unacceptable and dangerous circumstances,” Schuette's report reads. The report also details additional complaints against the veterans facility, including residents' personal belongings going missing and an alleged assault on a resident by an employee. Not enough evidence exists to pursue charges on those claims, Schuette said.

“Allegations that our veterans are being abused or neglected runs counter to the duty we owe them,” Schuette said in a release. “This announcement does not represent the end of scrutiny of the GRHV or the close of the investigation.  We will continue to aggressively follow-up on any new complaints of abuse or neglect of veterans at the home.”

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director James Robert Redford said in response to the that the facility has been “been working very hard” to address the findings of the auditor's 2016 report. He cited “substantial progress” over the past year.

“The safety and well-being of all those we have the privilege of serving is of paramount concern to MVAA staff, and we are taking all possible measures to make certain we are fulfilling these responsibilities,” Redford said. “We have put additional education and policies in place intended to correct previously identified deficiencies and to ensure we are providing the best care possible.”