House bill calls for reviewing citations with all nursing home staff

DES MOINES — A bill that’s cleared the Iowa House would require state inspectors to conduct twice-a-year training sessions for Iowa nursing home staff to review the most common citations issued against nursing homes. The bill also changes the timelines for when inspectors from the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) conduct site visits to review operations or investigate complaints.

Representative Thomas Jay Moore, a Republican from Griswold, said the bill addresses some of the concerns that have been raised about Iowa nursing homes. “I believe there are many things we can work on to improve the outcomes in our nursing homes, but what I think this does is
create a collaboration between DIAL and our nursing homes, which I believe is not in great existence right now,” Moore said, “and with that collaboration and training twice a year we are going to improve outcomes as far as lessening citations.”

Representative Megan Srinivas, a Democrat from Des Moines, said the state needs to hire more nursing home inspectors and quit paying private companies to investigate complaints.

“I think we’re all in agreement here that our nursing homes are in trouble, that we need to do something to fix the disasters that we’ve been seeing happen throughout our state. Unfortunately this bill does not solve the problem sufficiently,” Srinivas said. “…We can’t wait…We need to respond with legislation right now before it’s your grandparent, before it’s your parent, before maybe it’s even yourself.”

The bill passed on an 87-8 vote last week. It’s been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration.