VA Will Maintain In-Home Care for Veteran Despite Caregiver Shortage

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide in-home health care for an Oregon veteran after Michael Williamson sued the agency for notifying him his care was ending, the Associated Press reported.

A VA contract company notified him his care of nearly 20 years would end after it couldn’t find caregivers to provide the round-the-clock care he needed.

The case is the latest example of the caregiver shortage, which is frequently stated as a top concern among providers in the space. Other home care providers have also had to turn away clients due to a lack of ability to staff more care.

Williamson, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, would have been given the option to move to an out-of-state nursing home had he not sued.

Williamson sued the VA in January after Roseburg VA Health Care System stated it could no longer provide services due to lack of caregivers. The provider did not find another in-home care provider for Williamson, Oregon Live reported.

“I’m pleased we were able to achieve a successful outcome that honored our veteran and his family’s wishes while also providing a safe environment for his care,” David Whitmer, the Roseburg VA’s interim director, told the AP. “Because of the complex care needed by an ALS patient, this took some time to negotiate and ensure a home-based solution that could meet all of the requirements.”

Williamson is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served 14 years.   He is on a ventilator and has a feeding tube, according to Oregon Live.

A contract company with VA Roseburg Health Care System, New Horizons, has provided Willliams with around-the-clock care at home, though the lawsuit does not detail the cost of care.

Written by Amy Baxter

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Amy Baxter
Assistant Editor at Home Health Care News
When not writing about all things home health, Amy fulfills her lifelong dream of becoming a pirate by sailing in regattas and enjoying rum. Fun fact: she sailed 333 miles across Lake Michigan in the Chicago Yacht Club "Race to Mackinac."

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