Despite Resident Death, Iowa Nursing Home Retains Five-Star Rating

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on July 25, 2018 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on February 24, 2022

bed with no one in itTimely Mission Nursing Home in Buffalo Center, Iowa still has a five-star rating from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of resident care, even though a resident died in February and the facility was fined last year for physical and verbal abuse of residents.  

The facility has not been fined or penalized over the 87-year-old resident’s death in February. Iowa’s Department of Inspections and Appeals proposed a fine of $29,750 but it did not impose the fine to allow CMS to take over the case.

If your loved one was abused or neglected at a nursing home and it resulted in serious injury or death, contact a Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyer from PKSD. You could be entitled to compensation for damages.

Resident in Pain for Days Before She Died

The resident was often in pain, which is why she was often crying, moaning and screaming in the days before she died, according to what staff told inspectors. When her nurse was informed she was in pain, she ignored it, according to an aide.

On the day she died, staff members noticed her eyes were dark and sunken and her feet were blue. Staff members who responded to the situation were not able to feel a pulse. Nearly three hours later, staff took the woman to the hospital in an ambulance. After receiving one liter of water, she was taken back to the nursing home, where she died in the early afternoon.

State inspectors asked about the delay in bringing the resident to the hospital, and a registered nurse from Timely Mission said she did not think the woman was doing that bad and she had other things to do. However, the nurse did acknowledge the woman looked like she was dying.

Inspectors interviewed the emergency room doctor at the hospital and found out that laboratory tests showed the woman had not consumed any fluids in four or five days. In fact, she may have had very limited fluids for a few weeks.

Timely Mission was cited by the state of Iowa for failing to adequately address the needs of two female residents who died on the same day – another resident was found dead in her bed about one hour before the 87-year-old died.

Timely Mission Has Low Overall Rating

Despite the five-star rating for resident care, Timely Mission has an overall rating of two stars, which means the facility is below average.

The facility also has the lowest-possible ranking for the results of government inspections. There is often very little correlation between the results of government inspections and the five-star rating system, according to Toby Edelman from the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

This is why there has been criticism in recent years about the way the five-star rating system, which relies on self-reported data from the facilities, works. In response to the criticism, CMS is working on revisions to the system and has frozen ratings at pre-November 2017 levels.

Contact an Attorney for a Free Consultation

Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are rampant problems at nursing homes in Iowa, Wisconsin and across the nation. When this happens, family members may be unsure about what to do next.

The Wisconsin personal injury lawyers at PKSD can evaluate the situation and determine your legal options in a free, no obligation legal consultation.

Contact us today by calling 877-877-2228 or completing a Free Case Evaluation form.

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