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Iowa Receives Failing Grade for Nursing Homes

TALLAHASSEE, FL (CBS2/FOX28) Iowa ranks near the bottom in nursing home quality of care, reports Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group.

The group published the nations first-ever state-by-state nursing home report card by analyzing eight federal measures to gauge nursing home quality.  Iowas nursing home care was so bad that the state managed only one above average grade.

Poorest grades related to direct care staffing hours, the percentage of facilities with deficiencies, and verified ombudsman complaints, scoring failing grades in each and ranking 41st, 45th, and 45th respectively.

Iowa represents whats terribly wrong with nursing home care and oversight in America, said Brian Lee, the groups executive director.  State officials and industry representatives should be ashamed of their abysmal nursing home record.

According to the report card, 97 percent of Iowas nursing homes were cited one or more deficiencies.  Worst yet, nearly 1 in 4 nursing home were cited a severe deficiency, indicating widespread abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

Shockingly low staffing levels contribute to the enormity of nursing home neglect, said Lee.  Residents are unable to be cared for properly when they receive fewer than 2 hours and 30 minutes of direct care daily.

Governor Brandstad and the Iowa Legislature must do a better job caring for elderly and disabled nursing home residents, said Lee.  They can start by mandating a higher staffing standard followed by hiring enough to ombudsmen to independently advocate for residents.

Iowas 2013 Nursing Home Report Card is available for download at

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