Both the House and Senate have voted to restore funding for ten nursing home inspectors eliminated by the Department of Inspections and Appeals earlier this year. But the Senate bill is more specific about how the agency should spend the $650,000. A.A.R.P. State Director, Anthony Carroll, says his organization continues to press the House to adopt the senate language.

“Any time we can get clarity in the law of what it’s used for is always the ideal,” Carroll says, “So we hope and expect and ask that this money be used for inspectors and other staff who help oversee and maintain the quality of our long term care institutions.” Carroll says it’s important to provide the proper review of the homes.

He says the statistics show Iowa generally has “high quality, high performing” nursing homes compared to other midwest states, but he says even the high quality homes need adequate oversight.” Carroll says he believes both the department and members of the House agree with the plan to restore the inspectors and hopes the issue will be resolved during final budget negotiations.

Carroll testified recently at a Senate hearing and reminded lawmakers of an A.A.R.P. study that shows 80%t of Iowans over the age of 50 say they’re worried about oversight of Iowa nursing homes.