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Snyder replaces agency chief after problems at veterans home

The full report from the Auditor General's Office on the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans says workers falsely claimed they were checking on patients after being alerted of possible falls, failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse and neglect, and took too long to fill prescriptions.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - We're learning more Friday about the findings of an audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans that at least one lawmaker calls "very disturbing."

The full report from the Auditor General's Office on the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans says workers falsely claimed they were checking on patients after being alerted of possible falls, failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse and neglect, and took too long to fill prescriptions.

Now we're learning that Governor Snyder announced the Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency has resigned. Jeff Barnes resigned at the governor's request.

James Redford, Snyder's chief legal counsel, will lead the agency for now.

Here are some of the key findings from the audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans released Friday:

  • Surveillance video indicates 43% of the patient location checks and 33% of the fall alarm checks in their sample did not occur despite the home providing documentation that the checks had occurred.
  • The contractor did not meet the required staffing needs 81% of the time during the four month sample period, shortages were as much as 22 staff on a given day.
  • During the review period, 39% of prescriptions were refilled late or more than five days early.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency says it is making changes to comply with auditor's recommendations. The home, which was privatized in 2011, made headlines in 2013 after an audit back then revealed major problems:

"Veterans that have been left after a bowel movement for an hour and a half and not had somebody to take care of them - one veteran flat out said the care sucks--one vet said that he had 18 different caregivers in the last three months," said former state Rep. Brandon Dillon.

We are gathering reaction from local lawmakers to the audit and will have much more on this story coming up at five and six Friday.

You can read the full report below:

Previously:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Michigan Senate announced hearings for a West Michigan veterans home after a critical new report.

It says patients at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans are not receiving basic care.

That report, from the Auditor General, is set to be released Friday, but a summary went out Thursday.

It found the home was not fully staffed most of the time, and patient location checks were misreported.

Senator Margaret O'Brien, of Portage, says lawmakers plan to look at the way the home operates, and what the legislature can do to make it more accountable.

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