Iowa Facilities on Federal Watch List Due to Serious Care Issues
The federal government maintains a list of “Special-Focus Facilities” for nursing homes with serious prior and recurring quality of care issues. These nursing homes are considered the worst nursing homes in the country. To get this rating, nursing homes usually have at least twice the number of serious violations as other facilities. The most common care issues of facilities on this list include deaths, staffing shortages and abuse.
Iowa has three more nursing homes joining seven other Iowa nursing home facilities that have been on this list for four to 32 months.
What Does it Mean to Be on the Federal Watch List?
The federal watch list refers to the government’s Special-Focus Facilities (SFF) list. Nursing homes on this list have received a one-star rating, the worst possible rating a facility can be given. Facilities placed on this list typically have a history of multiple serious violations and recurring quality-of-care issues.
The latest nursing homes from Iowa to be added to the SFF list includes :
New London Specialty Care
New London is a 46-bed facility that is located in Henry County and was previously managed by Care Initiatives of West Des Moines. In 2021, this facility was fined $14,508. This facility was also cited for 18 federal violations, one of which was for failing to protect its residents from becoming victims of sexual abuse.
Parkridge Specialty Care
This 90-bed facility in Pleasant Hill was also managed by Care Initiatives. The federal government assessed $178,003 in fines against Parkridge. In the same year, Medicare suspended its payments to the facility. Parkridge was also cited last fall after the death of one of its residents. That resident had been complaining of chest pains, yet was made to wait for more than four hours before being assessed or sent for treatment. Although later transported to a nearby hospital emergency room, the resident died.
Rock Rapids Health Centre
Arboreta Healthcare of Florida was the management company for this 44-bed facility. Rock Rapids was fined $216,869 in 2021. Medicare payments to the facility were also suspended, first in August 2020 and again in January 2021. Ten separate complaints against the facility were investigated and substantiated last November. However, following the investigation of those complaints, the facility was not fined or cited. The facility continued to be troubled throughout 2022, going through four different administrators and suffered severe staffing shortages. At one point, the head of maintenance, along with other non-medical employees, were asked to substitute as nurses’ aides.
How Facilities Enter the Special-Focus Facility Program
The SFF list is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and gets updated every quarter. Once a facility is on this list, they are candidates waiting to be enrolled in a special government program. The purpose of this program is to encourage a facility to resolve issues and improve its quality of care. This list is capped, however, so even if a facility has a one-star rating, it will not immediately be enrolled in this program. In fact, a facility cannot be added to the SFF list until other facilities already in the program graduate and leave. The facilities selected are distinguished by their prior history of serious violations and quality of care issues. The list contains 88 facilities overall, with one to two slots per state.
Once a facility is on this list, they are part of a special program. The purpose of this program is to encourage a facility to resolve issues and improve its quality of care. This list is capped. so even if a facility has a one-star rating, it cannot be added to the SFF list until other facilities already in the program graduate and leave.
The process of being added to the SFF program can take four years or even longer. At any given time, Iowa has 10 facilities that have been identified as SFF-eligible.
Additional Iowa Special Focus Facilities Candidates
In addition to these three latest facilities, there are seven other Iowa care homes on the list and still waiting to be enrolled in the program. These facilities include:
- Arbor Court in Mount Pleasant
- Aspire of Primghar
- Genesis Senior Living in Des Moines
- Griswold Rehabilitation & Health Care Center
- Northern Mahaska Specialty Care
- Oakland Manor
- QHC Mitchellville
An article from the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that to be selected as a candidate for the SFF program, a facility usually has twice the average number of violations. These violations are also of a more serious nature and established over a longer period of time.
Contact PKSD to Discuss Suspected Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, we urge you to seek immediate legal help. At PKSD, we have a team of highly trained attorneys ready to help you with your case. We have a proven history of getting results for our clients, having recovered millions in compensation on their behalf.
Contact our law offices today to request a meeting with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Wisconsin at our firm. We currently accept cases in Wisconsin, New Mexico or Iowa.
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