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VA to prioritize rural areas for nursing home funding

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Monday during a visit to Montana that his agency will propose changes to make it easier for rural areas to receive funding to build nursing homes for veterans (Source: “VA seeks to funnel more nursing home money to rural areas,” Washington Post, Aug. 21, 2017).

Rural areas are often bypassed under the agency’s existing guidelines for awarding grants for veterans’ homes, Shulkin told reporters.

The VA now sets its priority list by looking at veteran demographics and the need for beds, making it difficult for some rural areas to compete, VA officials said. The agency plans to propose regulation changes by year’s end to ensure some of the money goes specifically to rural areas. Whatever proposal emerges must go through a public comment period, so it’s unclear when any changes may take effect.