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Iowa won't require nursing home employees to complete dementia care training

February 19, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Iowa legislators failed to pass a bill to establish minimum dementia care requirements in nursing homes. 

House Study Bill 566 would have required nursing homes to pay for dementia-specific training for employees administive and direct care staff at facilities serving people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Competency evaluations and continuting education would be overseen by the state.

The House Human Resources Committee is not expected to review the bill approved by a subcommittee, says subcommittee chairman Dave Heaton.

Heaton told The Des Moines Register he thought all nursing home employees should be trained on caring for people with dementia but says the bill probably was too restrictive. “There were a lot of things in the bill that made the industry uncomfortable,” he says.

Lobbyists for the nursing home industry argued the requirements would are too costly and similar to pending federal regulations, rendering the state legislation redundant.

Noah Tabor, public policy director for the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says the association might lobby to attach a modified version as an amendment to a future budget bill. 

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