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In a rare move, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has assessed fines against three Iowa nursing home facilities for alleged whistleblower retaliation
Iowa has a mandatory reporter law, which specifically makes it a crime for caregivers not to report a suspected case of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, the law is rarely enforced, making it easy for those to follow the law to be exposed to retaliation.
Within the past five weeks, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has assessed fines against the following facilities:
Windmill Manor: Assessed Fine: $5,000. Reason: Reportedly, the Director of Nursing threatened to fire seven employees if they reported quality of care concerns to state inspectors. The threat was made during a Nurses’ Appreciation Week luncheon and she told her staff that she had “a stack of applications” from prospective employees who were available to take their places. The Director of Nursing actually admitted making the threat but told the state that she would not have gone through with it. The facility is appealing the fine saying, “We are confident that when all the facts are presented that the citation will be reversed and the fine rescinded.”
Granger Nursing & Rehabiltiation Center: Assessed Fine: $5,000. Reason: Reportedly, threatening, demoting or firing employees reporting resident care concerns to inspectors.
Crossbridge Homes of Marshalltown: Assessed Fine: $1,000. Reason: Reportedly threatening, demoting or firing employees reporting resident care concerns to inspectors.