Former employees charged in vets home investigation

On Monday, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced charges have been filed in the 61st District Court in Kent County against 11 former caregivers of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV). Schuette also released a report providing additional details associated with his investigation of the home.

In order to help ensure the health and safety of veterans residing at the GRHV, regular room checks were required to be performed. However, in many instances, evidence showed that staff did not perform the checks, yet falsely charted that they did.

"We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude for their service to our country. Allegations that our veterans are being abused or neglected runs counter to the duty we owe them. These allegations were thoroughly investigated by my office," said Schuette. "This announcement does not represent the end of scrutiny of the GRHV or the close of the investigation. We will continue to aggressively follow-up on any new complaints of abuse or neglect of veterans at the home."

Schuette's investigation began immediately after the Michigan Auditor General issued a report in February of 2016 that was highly critical of operations and conditions at the home. The charges filed Monday flow from one of the findings in the Auditor General report dealing with falsification of room checks at the GRHV. While the federal Veterans Administration provides oversight of the home, it is operated and managed by the State of Michigan.

An intentional or willful violation of MCL 750.492a by a healthcare provider is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

The Attorney General Health Care Fraud Division exists to identify, prosecute, and prevent fraudulent activity by doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care providers participating in the Medicaid program. Taxpayer dollars provide health care to indigent patients and other recipients. It is vital that these dollars be effectively spent to help those in need. Fraud affects everyone including the recipients of care, the taxpayers who pay for it, and the overwhelming majority of providers who conscientiously provide quality care.

Anyone aware of misconduct at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is encouraged to report it to Attorney General Schuette's Health Care Fraud Division by calling 800-24-ABUSE.

Published: Wed, Jul 26, 2017