PruittHealth is working on new government nursing home management contract for veterans

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KINSTON, NC (WITN) – Paul Paquette, 59, is a regular visitor to the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Kinston.

Paquette says he is: “Visiting my sister’s husband. He has dementia. “

During his weekly visits to his brother-in-law, he says he hears good reviews of the facility.

“It was good,” said Paquette. “Everything is clean and everyone is working hard.”

The Kinston home is one of four managed by PruittHealth, a Georgia-based company that has served the state for more than 20 years.

After PruittHealth submitted an offer, the new five-year contract with the State Department of Military and Veterans Affairs includes a higher fee. The company receives 10% of the revenue from each facility, increasing the overall rate by 8%.

PruittHealth’s fee also increased from $ 18.5 million to $ 29 million, an overall increase of more than 56%.

The contract comes as data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that at least 36 veterans in their care have died of COVID-19 at all facilities during the pandemic.

“If you have a contractor to take care of the facility, do it [it] It’s a little difficult for local lawmakers to get involved and try to get to the bottom of the problem, ”said MP Chris Humphrey (R-Lenoir).

WITN turned to PruittHealth and the NCDMVA but has received no comment on whether there is an investigation into the deaths that no one has spoken about publicly.

PruittHealth published a statement on the new contract by email on Thursday.

“PruittHealth had the better package. Cheaper isn’t always better, ”said Humphrey. “Especially when it comes to our veterans and quality healthcare. We will continue to monitor the other advances. We believe PruittHealth is best equipped for what we have now. We’ll see how it goes. “

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