New law eliminates fines if problems fixed in-house

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Gov. Chet Culver (D)
Gov. Chet Culver (D)
Nursing homes that identify and correct certain health and safety issues on their own will see fines eliminated under a newly enacted law.

The legislation sets out new rules and guidelines for a “quality assurance assessment” program. Many Iowans were up in arms because the legislation allows nursing homes, if they are able, to correct violations on their own and avoid fines.

Self-correctable violations include low staffing levels, which themselves can be responsible for a number of other types of preventable violations, critics claim.

Despite the apparent controversy, the bill passed with no dissenting votes in either the state House or Senate, pointed out Steve Ackerson, executive director of the Iowa Health Care Association. “Anything with any harm or any abuse is not applicable,” Ackerson noted. “You can't self-correct on that.”
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