nursing homes

Iowa reports eight more COVID deaths; 83 new positive cases

BY: - April 5, 2020

Eight more Iowans with COVID-19 have died and another 83 have tested positive, Iowa Department of Public Health reported Sunday. All of those who died were older than 60 and half were over 80. Staff and residents in Iowa’s long-term care facilities account for more than one in every 10 positive cases of COVID-19 and […]

Nursing home infections spread while state inspectors lack PPE

BY: - March 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread in Iowa nursing homes Monday, even as state inspectors relied on the facilities themselves to provide them with personal protective equipment. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday that an outbreak of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a Cedar Rapids nursing home. She said 21 of Linn County’s 71 confirmed cases […]

As COVID-19 hits Iowa nursing homes, feds suspend fines and penalties

BY: - March 26, 2020

With COVID-19 now confirmed at several Iowa nursing homes, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has suspended selected fines and other penalties against long-term care facilities. Iowa Health Care Association President and CEO Brent Willett said Wednesday the organization is “aware that four long-term care providers have reported a combined total of five […]

Nursing home inspectors focus on infections as Trump rolls back regulations

BY: - March 18, 2020

With the coronavirus outbreak growing, Iowa’s nursing home inspectors are focusing on infections that threaten the 55,000 elderly and disabled Iowans now living in long-term care facilities. The focus on infection control has been suggested by the same federal agency that has been working for months to ease Obama-era nursing home regulations intended to minimize […]

Culture of secrecy allowed nurse to keep harming patients

BY: - March 17, 2020

Last summer, federal prosecutor Timothy Vavricek stood before a judge and tried to explain how Katie Boll had bounced from one Iowa nursing job to the next, stealing pain killers from hospice patients who had only days to live. “She was a nurse at UnityPoint, was fired, then she’s up working again at Manchester, doing […]

Feds slash penalty for Perry nursing home; state admits error in its fines

BY: - February 28, 2020

Federal officials have agreed to dramatically reduce the fines imposed against the Dallas County nursing home accused of hiring unlicensed caregivers and contributing to a resident’s death. State inspectors, meanwhile, have acknowledged that last fall they mistakenly fined the home too little, and are now meeting with bank officials to monitor the financial health of […]

Troubled nursing home says it will ‘take time’ to correct problems

BY: - February 26, 2020

The managers of a Dallas County nursing home accused of contributing to resident injuries, sexual abuse and a death, say they are trying to fix longstanding issues at the facility but “such matters take time to remedy.” In a written statement, the home’s new administrator, Greg Greenwood, said Wednesday, “We are aware of the long-term, […]

Legislation on nursing home oversight fails to win support

BY: - February 26, 2020

Legislation that would force Iowa’s long-term care ombudsman to play a more active role in protecting Iowa’s elderly appears to be dead for the 2020 session. The Iowa Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office acts as an advocate for the elderly and responds to roughly 1,200 complaints annually from 55,000 Iowans now living in the state’s 860 […]

Home cited for death, sexual abuse and unlicensed caregivers

BY: - February 25, 2020

A Dallas County nursing home that cut staffing to compensate for financial losses is on a federal watch list after inspectors cited the home for contributing to a resident death, hiring an unlicensed caregiver, failing to protect residents from sexual abuse and allowing a kitchen worker to supervise its dementia ward. Financial troubles at the […]

Iowa fails to meet federal standard for nursing home inspections

BY: - February 8, 2020

For more than two years, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has failed to meet federal standards for the timely inspection of nursing homes. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires each state’s nursing home inspection agency to conduct a full inspection of every licensed care facility no later than every 15.9 […]

Close-up of woman holding senior man's hand leaning on cane

Will Iowa outsource its protection of the elderly?  

BY: - January 7, 2020

State law requires Iowa’s regional ombudsmen to “visit” care facilities — even when there’s no specific complaint to investigate — and, while there, to “observe daily routines, meals and activities.”