Iowa Officials Revise Nursing Home Report Card Web Site to Include Citations and Fines
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has "upgraded" its online nursing home report card to provide more information about citations and fines levied against the state's nursing facilities, the Des Moines Register reports. According to Steve Young, director of the department, the change is intended to provide consumers with "more complete and timely information" on nursing homes' compliance with state and federal regulations. The change comes as the federal government faces criticism for providing incomplete information about nursing home violations on an HHS Web site. Iowa's Nursing Facilities Report Card Web site allows consumers to read state inspection reports on almost 900 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, residential care facilities and intermediate care facilities. Previously, the site contained a general notice that all citations and fines posted to the site were subject to review and appeal, but the site did not identify contested actions until the cases had been finalized. The site now indicates which violations and fines are being contested or appealed. HHS' Nursing Home Compare Web site drew criticism last week for omitting "tens of thousands" of violations of federal standards by nursing homes. According to a report released by the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, the site includes violations discovered during routine annual inspections but fails to disclose violations found during investigations of complaints against nursing homes (Kauffman, Des Moines Register, 2/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.