Senator Charles Grassley is proposing a new "watch list" for nursing homes that aren’t meeting federal health and safety standards. "That would include nursing homes that yo-yo in and out of compliance by using grace periods to correct deficiencies, but only then on a temporary basis," Grassley says. "We never seem to get consistency of safety and quality at these nursing homes."
The public would be better able to judge whether a nursing home is the right place for their loves one if a "watch list" disclosed which homes aren’t up to snuff, according to Grassley. "It’s kind of a right to know approach," Grassley says. Sanctions against nursing homes are often withdrawn before they go into effect because the homes are given time to correct deficiencies, according to Grassley, so the public often never knows of serious health and safety violations.
"The fixes that turn out to be only patches mask permanent problems," Grassley says. "The whole situation warrants a watch list that would identify the nursing homes that repeatedly fall out of compliance."
There are about 450 nursing homes in Iowa and over 17,000 in the country. The State of Iowa has a report card , of sorts, on nursing homes that lets you search by facility name, city or county for staffing details and compliance reports.