Tagged Articles

Des Moines Register 7 articles

Nursing homes that jeopardize safety no longer face fines in Iowa

Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill in to law this week that removes fines imposed on nursing homes that do not meet minimum health and safety standards, according to the Des Moines Register. Under the new law, nursing homes would no longer be fined for not having competent, licensed administrators or caregivers in their facilities; not having a qualified nurse on duty, or for understaffing at the facility, one of the leading contributors to resident neglect. The few fines that can be imposed can be reduced by 35 percent if the nursing home agrees not to formally appeal the ... Read More

Lawmakers question veterans home officials about schedules, salaries

Iowa state lawmakers put officials from the Iowa Veterans Home on the hot seat last week about a decision made by the home to switch doctors to an on-call system for nights, weekends and holidays, resulting in a generous boost for the center’s four doctors, according to the Des Moines Register. Medical Director Dr. Melissa Bruhl said she recommended the change to the home’s administrator Dan Steen because she was having a difficult time finding relief for the 24-hour coverage. As a result, the arrangement increased Bruhl’s salary from $244,000 per year to about $319,000. The nursing home’s human resources director ... Read More

Iowa nursing home fined for indifference to sexual abuse claims

An Iowa nursing home has been ordered to pay $7,000 in federal fines for not investigating complaints from staff and residents about sexual abuse from a male nursing aide. Eight separate incidents of abuse against different residents had been made to managers and supervisors at New Homestead Care Center involving staffer Juan Bautista-Meraz, according to the Des Moines Register. The most shocking complaint involves a mentally disabled female resident. One worker says she had to force her way into that resident’s room because the door had been secured with a chair. When she entered, the worker says she saw Bautista-Meraz ... Read More

Nursing home worker fired after reporting abuse

Something seems amiss at Montrose Health Center in Iowa. Lora Washburn was following rules when she reported an incident of abuse she witnessed at the nursing home where she worked. But a few days later she was fired, according to The Des Moines Register and The Hawkeye. Washburn was working as marketing and admissions coordinator at Montrose when she spotted a coworker chiding a resident who was in a wheelchair. The worker, who had been with the facility 11 years, called the resident pathetic, reducing the patient to tears. Washburn reported the incident to the nursing home administrator, David Payne, ... Read More

Bonuses paid to nursing homes with no regard to quality care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is paying millions of dollars in taxpayer money each year to nursing homes, some of which have been cited for below-average care, according to a report by the Des Moines (Iowa) Register. The monies come from bonuses paid to nursing homes for following programs that in many cases are legally required, such as paying minimum wages and installing fire sprinklers for resident safety. The Des Moines Register reviewed 81 bonus payment programs in 36 different states. Iowa, which began participating in the bonus program six years ago, was one of the first to ... Read More

Abuse Records Reopened

A decision from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office on May 27 reverses an earlier decision to keep secret the names of people fired from care facilities for abusing elderly and disabled clients. According to The Des Moines Register, the new decision comes nine months after the state first began to limit access to the information. The Register reports that records with names of caregivers fired for abuse were sealed beginning last August based on a new interpretation of a state law that has been on the books for 17 years, which specifies that judges are obligated to keep “unspecified ... Read More

Nursing home fines, bonuses

On March 3, the Des Moines Register reported that in 2007 the state fined 23 Iowa nursing homes $10,000 or more for providing substandard care. Some of those homes were also hit with federal fines and sanctions against their state licenses. Of those 23 homes, 16 stand to collect bonus Medicaid payments this year from state and federal taxpayers, according to the Register. The bonuses are tied to a state program that rewards nursing homes for providing quality, cost-effective care. Elderly abuse is a crime. If you or a loved one have suffered nursing home abuse and neglect, please contact ... Read More