June 27, 2011
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa reports that Iowa nursing homes are reimbursed for legal fees associated with fighting nursing home abuse or neglect cases–regardless of whether they are found guilty of abuse.
Nursing homes file reports that detail revenue and expenses and can claim expenses such as professional services including any legal fees they may have accumulated.
Iowa Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns says nursing homes defending themselves in abuse cases is considered an allowable cost since nursing homes are allowed under federal law to appeal abuse allegations made by regulators.
The job of a nursing home abuse lawyer is to protect nursing home residents and bring about justice when abuse or neglect has occurred. And while nursing homes certainly have a right to defend themselves against abuse allegations, it seems unfair that tax payer money should be used toward defense fees when a nursing home has been found guilty of nursing home abuse.