Missouri Veterans Commission News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 07, 2020
JEFFERSON CITY –Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Grace Link today provided updates on the commission’s efforts to maintain the highest quality at MVC’s seven Veterans Homes in three areas: modernization; resident care, and reducing the waiting list to enter a home.
At the Missouri Veterans Commission meeting on January 27, Link announced Phase I construction has been completed at the St. Louis Veterans Home and that 42 Veterans have moved in a newly remodeled wing featuring a private room with a bathroom for each Veteran. The construction project will renovate Veterans Home into a state of the art facility based on the small home concept of providing a much more home-like environment for each resident. The St. Louis Veterans Home will be the first home of seven to transition from shared rooms into this new model.
“These renovations will provide our Veterans with extra comfort and privacy,” Executive Director Link said. “When Veterans come into this home, we want it to feel as close to home as possible for them. Our nation’s Veterans deserve the very best!”
The St. Louis Veterans Home’s $14.5 million renovation project began in May 2019. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is providing $9.3 in funding and the State of Missouri is providing $5.2 million.
Also at the January 27 meeting in Jefferson City, the nine-member Veterans Commission approved a resident rate increase from the current rate of $2,050 per month to $2,187 per month, effective July 1, 2020.
“The continuing rise in the cost of healthcare services requires the Missouri Veterans Commission to implement this modest increase,” Link said. “This will be the first increase since 2015 and will allow our Veterans Homes to remain among the finest skilled nursing care facilities in the nation, providing high quality care at the lowest possible cost.”
Skilled nursing care at the seven Missouri Veteran Homes includes the entire cost of care, including all medications, therapy, recreational activities and many additional free services for all admitted Veterans. “It is for this reason, along with the camaraderie, that MVC Veterans Homes are sought out by so many Veterans and their families,” Link said.
A final area of progress was the significant reduction of the MVC Veterans Home waiting list. In early 2018, when the waiting list was more than 1,900 Veterans, MVC staff revamped the entire list. Staff reviewed every Veterans information to ensure their eligibility. Previously, not all Veterans on the waiting list met the 24-hour skilled nursing care requirement and hundreds of individuals had declined a bed at a Veterans Home, some multiple times, in the past. The current waiting list of 370 Veterans statewide is much more accurate.
MVC is now conducting in-person assessments to validate admission requirements. The assessments are finding that about 25 percent of Veterans who are visited meet the requirements. Therefore, the waiting list is down from 1,900 in 2018 to approximately 370 statewide currently.
Link said the goal is to be able to offer a bed to a Veteran as soon as an eligible Missouri Veteran needs one.
“Customer service is our top priority and simply adding a Veteran to a waiting list when they need care is not good enough,” said Link.
The Missouri Veterans Commission, a state agency, operates seven State Veterans Homes, five State Veterans Cemeteries, and the Veterans Services Program. The Commission’s mission is to be the first choice in skilled nursing care; best choice in securing benefits; and proven choice in a dignified resting place for Missouri’s Veterans. For more information about Missouri Veterans Commission programs, call (573) 751-3779, go to www.mvc.dps.mo.gov, or find us at facebook.com/MissouriVeteransCommission.
For more information, call 573-522-1421 or e-mail Daniel.Bell@mvc.dps.mo.gov