Long-Term Care For Veterans Focus Of Thursday's Hearing

May 12, 2005

Contact: Jeff Schrade 202-224-9093

(Washington, DC) Sen. Larry Craig, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, announced today that the committee will hold a hearing this week to review long-term care for veterans.

The hearing, titled, ?An Open Discussion: Planning, Providing and Paying for Veterans' Long Term Care,? will begin Thursday, May 12, at 10 a.m in room 418 of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The hearing will be webcast on the committee's website: http://veterans.senate.gov. It may also be audiocast live on C-SPAN's hearings website: http://www.capitolhearings.org.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony regarding access to, and the availability of, long-term care services for our nation's veterans. Right now the VA operates or pays for approximately 34,000 nursing homes beds for the nation's roughly 25 million veterans.

In its 2006 budget proposal sent to Congress, the VA proposed to limit geriatric nursing home care to only those with military service-connected conditions. It also proposed to reduce the number of VA-provided nursing home care beds and limit payments made by the federal government to state veterans homes.

The VA provides institutional long term care through VA Nursing Homes, Community Nursing Homes, State Veteran Homes, and Domiciliaries. It also provides assistance to some veterans through its Community Residential Care program and through other services, such as hospice, respite care, and Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM). Other outpatient services provided by VA include Home Based Primary Care, Community Home Health Care, Adult Day Health Care, and Homemaker/ Home Health Aide Services.