A chain of four Iowa nursing facilities is accused of improperly threatening to kick out residents who can’t pay their bills. Debi Meyers, the Iowa Long Term Care Ombudsman, is issuing her office’s first-ever “public alert” about ManorCare Health Services. Meyers says it’s clear many Iowans are not aware of the rights of nursing care residents.She says a facility can’t call and say “come pick up your mother this afternoon.” A facility can’t take a loved one to a hospital and leave them there, nor can they say we’re discharging your loved one to your home in 30 days. Meyers says ManorCare Health Services has been under watch for some time for its practice of involuntary discharge notices. In a case last week, a family member of a resident of the ManorCare facility in Cedar Rapids took that person’s money and left the resident unable to pay the facility’s bill.Rather than trying to help the resident apply for Medicaid or some form of protection from the alleged abuser, the facility notified the alleged abuser that the resident was going to be discharged to the family member’s home in 30 days. Meyers says her office is filing a number of complaints with state regulators about the actions of ManorCare. She says she questions where ManorCare’s priorities lie, quote, “with resident care or with financial profitability.”ManorCare has facilities in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque and Waterloo. Meyers says ManorCare facilities have issued more involuntary discharge notices than any other nursing facility chain in Iowa. She says ManorCare issued more than twice as many notices than even Iowa’s largest chain which has 43 facilities compared to ManorCare’s four. For more information, call the long-term care ombudsman’s office at 800 532-3213.
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