Iowa Medical Examiner's Office may lose accreditation

MGN Online

The Iowa Medical Examiner's Office is performing more autopsies with fewer staffers amid a cut in state funding, causing delays in bodies being returned to families and endangering the office's national accreditation.

The Des Moines Register reports the office's accreditation is up for reconsideration on Nov. 6.

State reports show that in 2006, the office's four pathologists completed almost 570 autopsies. In 2016, three pathologists completed almost 860 autopsies.

The National Association of Medical Examiners recommends that pathologists not perform more than 250 autopsies a year. Iowa pathologists exceeded that recommendation in 2015 and 2016. Association examiners may not re-accredit the office if examiners are taking too many cases.

Association President Brian Peterson says offices don't need accreditation to operate, but accreditation shows the office is meeting a certain standard.

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