KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some Iowa Health Care Institutions Have Little Oversight

The Des Moines Register looked at state regulation of health care institutions.

Des Moines Register: Most Surgical Centers Face Little State Oversight
Iowa is home to dozens of outpatient surgical centers, but none of them is licensed and many are uninspected by the state. … Federal officials are concerned about rising infection rates in surgical centers, which they say are a major problem attributable to unsafe medical practices and failure to follow basic patient-safety guidelines. But Iowa is one of only of seven states that don't license the so-called ambulatory surgical centers, which represent one of the fastest growing, but least regulated, segments of the health care system (Kauffman, 4/24).

Des Moines Register: No Oversight For Iowa Home Health Care
State inspectors discovered that a home health agency based in Waverly last year wasn't delivering the care it claimed to be providing one of its clients. The agency was collecting fees for having a nurse supervise the care that a less-skilled aide was providing in the home of the client. But when inspectors cross-checked the time sheets of the nurse and the aide, they found numerous instances of the nurse arriving at the client's home just a few minutes before the aide left the house (Kauffman, 4/23).

Des Moines Register: Iowa Hospices Inspected Only Once Every 20 Years
Hospice providers that care for hundreds of Iowans in the final stages of a terminal illness are now being inspected by the state on a schedule of one visit every 20 years. Patient advocates say that sort of inspection cycle "doesn't even pass the laugh test," and puts Iowans at risk of substandard care. It's one example of how Iowa is turning a blind eye to critical elements of the state's heath care system (Kauffman, 4/23).

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