Ending homelessness for veterans is most certainly a lofty goal. Regardless of the seemingly impossibility of this task, it is one that has been recently undertaken by the federal government, according to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
The Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove in Dover implemented a rate hike last year which means some assisted living veterans would see an increase of 1/3 in their payments. State veterans officials stated they would pay the increase in order to keep the veterans where they need to be by placing veterans in an aid program and then absorbing the difference in cost to prevent veterans from becoming homeless.
While this may seem like a very altruistic act, the fact is, the state is required by law to cover the costs for the homeless veterans. Following a study of the VA home in Dover, it was discovered that the increase in cost would be unnecessary if the home ran more efficiently. As an example, a report issued earlier his year found the Dover VA home spent 4 times the amount a typical assisted living home would spend.
Veteran’s homes must provide services not typically offered in private assisted living homes because of the veteran clientele. If a veteran cannot afford to stay at a VA medical facility or assisted living home, there is no point in offering the additional services.
The Dover VA hospital’s costs were 8 times higher than the industry average in just the administrative role. If the study’s findings are taken seriously, the Dover VA medical center could cut costs dramatically.