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1:42 PM Wed, Sept. 19th

Report: VA nursing home in Prescott ranks among worst in US

The VA's Community Living Center in Prescott ranks among the worst in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The facility received a one-star rating from the department — the lowest possible score in the five-star system. (Google Maps photo)

The VA's Community Living Center in Prescott ranks among the worst in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The facility received a one-star rating from the department — the lowest possible score in the five-star system. (Google Maps photo)

PHOENIX — A nursing home for veterans in Prescott, Arizona, ranks among the worst in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The agency's Community Living Center in Prescott got a one-star rating from the department — the lowest possible score in the five-star system, The Arizona Republic reported.

The nursing home provides short-term rehabilitation and stabilization for veterans, including medical care, nursing and multiple therapies. It has 85 beds, but the most recently available records indicate only 45 are typically in use.

Patients reported a lower ratio of falls, bedsores and ulcers than the VA average at nursing homes, but some 45 percent of patients report frequent severe or moderate pain, or horrible pain within the previous five days, VA data showed.

By comparison, 33 percent of patients in other VA living centers and only 6 percent in private care facilities report that level of discomfort.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System told The Republic that improvements have been made since the evaluation was conducted. Spokeswoman Mary Dillinger said new scores would be issued in July.

"We believe our quality of care is much better than the star rating might suggest. However, we have been using that information to improve," Dillinger said. "VA is committed to making the change the right way and continuing to serve the most challenging populations."

The VA center in Phoenix, with 104 beds, received four stars overall involving care and patient satisfaction. It scored above the VA average in all 11 quality measurements and was listed eighth among the 133 veterans living centers nationwide.

The veterans nursing home in Tucson, with 90 beds, got two stars.

Watch the Daily Courier and dCourier.com for updates; the Courier is working on a localized version of this story. In an earlier version of the story, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the spokeswoman for the Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System did not respond to questions about care. She later told The Arizona Republic that improvements have been made since the evaluation was conducted and the ranking is being used to improve services.