CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowa’s nursing homes and assisted-living centers serve more than 40,000 Iowans. When one of those nursing homes hires a lawyer to fight allegations of abuse or neglect, did you know your tax dollars often end up footing the bill? An investigation shows that Eastern Iowa nursing homes sought Medicaid reimbursement for more than $2.2 million in legal and accounting fees and professional services in 2010. Medicaid pays for legal fees even if a nursing home loses a citation appeal or lawsuit — a fact that bothers one Cedar Rapids woman.

From a young age, Marlys Ingles acted as the eyes for her mother and father. Both were blind. “I always felt very protective of my parents. I think you have a different relationship with your parents when they have disabilities.” When Ingles’ mother, Darlene Hart, died on Dec. 30, 2005, at Crestview Acres Nursing Home in Marion, Ingles wanted to find out what happened. State inspectors learned that Hart suffered a heart attack and staff failed to perform CPR as instructed by Hart and her doctor. Ingles decided to sue the nursing home.   read more

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