GAO: Data gaps impede veterans' nursing home care

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The Veterans Administration's dearth of data on its state nursing homes has presented problems in strategic planning and oversight of the facilities, according to a new federal report.

The General Accountability Office found that the VA does not compile key information, including ages, gender and services-used data. Nor does it document lengths of stay, according to an examination of facilities in four states. In addition, reimbursements were paid inconsistently, with at least one VA center approving reimbursement only for care provided to those with wartime service.

The VA generally concurred with the GAO's recommendations to compile better baseline information and clarify its reimbursement policies.

Highlights of the GAO report "VA Long-Term Care: Data Gaps Impede Strategic Planning for and Oversight of State Veterans' Nursing Homes" (GAO-06-264, March 2006) can be found at