VT Vets Home Could Lose Federal Funding

Sep 13, 2012

The Vermont Veterans Home located in Bennington is facing millions of dollars in federal funding cuts if changes are not made to remedy certain deficiencies. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

If the Vermont Veterans Home does not fix deficiencies outlined by Vermont’s Division of Licensing and Protection – a government agency that enforces federal standards – the home could lose $12 million in federal funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. Former President of the Veterans Home Col. Laura Corrow, whose last day was yesterday, confirmed that since August the CMS state that no new residents that would be funded by Medicare and Medicaid are to be admitted to the home.

The Home has a chance to fix things before another inspection by the Division of Licensing and Protection.

But Corrow says that if the home is not found to be in compliance, the federal funding would be cut off at the end of next month.

Currently, about 155 veterans live at the Home, and roughly 2/3 of which are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The home would have to spend additional money to relocate residents if the federal funding is restricted.

Mark Mitchell, Director of the Vermont State Employees Association, says many of the identified deficiencies involving nursing home personnel are due to inadequate staffing.

Mitchell said that Kate Duffy, Vermont Human Resources Commissioner, is now involved in addressing staffing problems.

Administrator of the Home Melissa Jackson says that management will meet with the union to address issues in the near future.

Col.Corrow echoed the sentiment of Vermont’s finance commissioner Jim Reardon who noted that the state would not be able to handle the cost of keeping the facility open if the federal funding is withdrawn.

As for now, $12 million hangs in the balance.