Violations Found at the Six Care Initiatives Nursing Homes
Several Iowa nursing home facilities were recently cited for serious violations. State inspectors investigated the original complaints, many of which were substantiated.
In all, allegations against the Iowa nursing homes included multiple complaints of abuse, neglect and medication errors. Hefty fines of up to $80,250 have already been assessed against these facilities. More could follow.
All six of the nursing home facilities cited are owned and operated by Care Initiatives, a West Des Moine corporation.
What Inspectors Found at Six Care Initiatives Nursing Facilities
There were multiple complaints of major violations alleged against the six Care Initiatives nursing facilities in Iowa. These complaints were among those substantiated by state inspectors:
- Stratford Specialty Care – A resident wandered out of this facility and off of the property. The door alarms sounded, but employees did not respond. The noise from the alarms led two kitchen workers to notify the nursing staff. However, the employees still took no action. The resident was found wandering along a state highway by one of the kitchen workers.
- Creston Specialty Care – On August 16, staff at this facility did not respond when a female resident left the building and wandered away from the property. Inspectors say the door alarms went off, but employees failed to act. The woman was hospitalized after being found at the bottom of a steep hill.
- Cedar Falls – Pinnacle Specialty Care – There were seven complaints against this facility, including one for the fentanyl overdose of a female resident. The overdose happened because the nurse administering the drug failed to remove an older medication patch. This resulted in both the older patch and the newly-placed patch delivering fentanyl into the woman’s system.
- Ottumwa – Ridgewood Specialty Care – A physical therapist reported a resident’s swollen and purple foot to a nurse. However, the facility took no action and provided no treatment for the resident’s foot. Just six days later, the resident was transported to a hospital emergency room. A vascular surgeon diagnosed the resident with gangrene. By that time, the damage was irreversible. The surgeon recommended amputating the foot.
- Ottumwa – Ridgewood Specialty Care – Cited and fined for verbal abuse of a resident suffering from traumatic brain dysfunction. An aide yelled at the resident for moaning and crying, saying, “Just shut up. Shut the f__ up.”
- Sioux City – Westwood Specialty Care – A female resident at this facility fell and suffered multiple fractures. Her injuries included several broken ribs, a broken wrist, fractured pelvis and a fractured collar bone. According to inspectors, this facility failed to take proper action for a resident who was a known fall risk.
- Waterloo – Ravenwood Specialty Care – This facility received 19 complaints. State inspectors substantiated 18 of them. Ottumwa Post reports that one entire dementia wing at the facility was left completely unstaffed. The facility received a $10,000 state fine.
Care Initiatives facilities generated $213 million in revenue in 2020 and reportedly spent $207 million. The federal government provided additional emergency grant relief money due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Care Initiatives also reportedly collected $7.9 million in federally-issued grant relief funds.
Pending further action from federal officials, there could be additional fines imposed on these facilities by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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