Personal Injury

Iowa lawmakers receive money from nursing home lobby group

Iowa lawmakers who complain about state inspectors being overly aggressive in their surveys of nursing homes have been receiving thousands of dollars in contributions from nursing home officials, according to the Chicago Tribune.

One such contributor is Tim Boyle, owner of Friendship Manor in Grinnell, Iowa, and president of the board of the Iowa Health Care Association, a lobby group that represents nursing homes.

Friendship Manor made news recently after it was fined $112,650 – one of the largest fines ever imposed against an Iowa nursing home. The home was charged with neglecting an 89-year-old woman who died while in residence at Friendship Manor. The victim, Ruth Louden, lived independently and was in good health until she broke her leg and moved into the home for recovery. She complained of excruciating pain but it was only after a physical-therapy aide noticed Louden’s leg smelled like “rotting meat” and that blood was seeping through her medical stocking, that Louden was rushed to the emergency room and treated. Doctors noticed the dressing on her wound had not been touched since it was applied four weeks earlier. Louden’s leg had to be amputated, but she never recovered. She died just a few months later.

The Tribune quotes the Des Moines Sunday Register, which reported that 11 fundraisers were held at Iowa nursing homes. Some of the biggest recipients of contributions from the Iowa Health Care Association Political Action Committee in 2008 included Iowa Democratic Party and Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, the Republican party of Iowa, Senate Minority Leader Ron Wieck, and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.