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Two veterans’ nursing homes in Arizona given low ratings from VA

(Pexel photo)

PHOENIX — A nursing home for veterans in Prescott, Arizona, ranks among the worst in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The agency’s Community Living Center in Prescott got a one-star rating from the department — the lowest possible score in the five-star system.

The nursing home provides short-term rehabilitation and stabilization for veterans, including medical care, nursing and multiple therapies. It has 85 beds, but the most recently available records indicate only 45 are typically in use.

Patients reported a lower ratio of falls, bedsores and ulcers than the VA average at nursing homes.

But some 45 percent of patients report frequent severe or moderate pain, or horrible pain within the previous five days, VA data showed.

By comparison, 33 percent of patients in other VA living centers and only 6 percent in private care facilities report that level of discomfort.

Another nursing home in Tucson, with 90 beds, was given a two-star rating.

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sent a letter Thursday to Peter O’Rourke, the acting secretary of the department, in an effort to obtain more detail about the problems at the nursing homes and how the department plans to address them and improve the delivery of care.

In the letter, McCain asked for the data that was used to determine the rating, the department’s plan and timeline to address the identified concerns and why the data was not released until recently.

“These results, along with their abysmal overall rankings, are disappointing and unacceptable. This is not the quality of care that we as a nation should provide our aging veteran population,” McCain said in the letter.

“I fear that if the issues highlighted by these rankings are not adequately addressed in a timely manner, we open the door to a chronic lack of medical care for those who need it most.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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