Iowa Officials Evaluate Medicaid Reimbursement Rates For Nursing Homes

Iowa — The government’s Medicaid program covers care for over half of the residents in Iowa nursing homes and the industry warns it cannot afford federal rules about staffing that are set to go into effect in 2026.

The rules say at least one nurse should be on duty in a nursing home at all times and each resident must get about three and a half hours of daily attention from the home’s staff. Iowa Department of Health and Human Services and director Kelly Garcia says her agency is conducting its regular review of Medicaid reimbursement rates for Iowa nursing homes.

The legislature and governor set Medicaid reimbursement rates every other year., so 2025 is when that decision will be made. Garcia says there are significant changes in the need for nursing facilities.

Garcia made her comments during a recent appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa P-B-S. The state currently spends about three times as much on nursing home care as it does on in-home and community services for seniors. There are about 400 nursing homes in the state.


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