Federal officials fine Cedar Rapids senior health care facility

Resident left facility without staff's knowledge, alarm failed to sound, report says

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A Cedar Rapids senior health care facility was fined thousands of dollars after a resident diagnosed with dementia exited the home and the resident's Wanderguard device did not sound.

The Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals's Health Facilities Division cited Heritage Nursing & Rehab Center, 200 Clive Drive SW, with a Class I violation and a $10,000 fine as a result of an immediate jeopardy situation at the facility, according to division documents.

However, the state fine was suspended and the federal government issued a $7,250 fine.  In the case of immediate jeopardy situations at skilled nursing facilities, the federal government supersedes the state.

The care center was cited for multiple violations after a resident, who was unidentified in a division report, left the nursing home in early September in his or her wheelchair without the facility staff knowing the resident's whereabouts for about 25 minutes. The resident had fallen out of the wheelchair and was later found by a passerby, the report said.

Staff did not hear the resident's Wanderguard device sound, according to the report, and after further inspection it was determined that three additional residents did not have proper supervision related to their Wanderguards.

The facility also failed to implement care plan interventions to ensure another five residents received adequate supervision from hazards regarding falls, and there were additional safety concerns for a ninth resident, the report said.

There are about 130 resident at the nursing home, according to the report.

Tom Hoskins, an administrator at the facility, said Heritage Nursing & Rehab Center does not make specific comments about individual residents. It does provide quality care as well as a safe and secure environment, he said.

All concerns are addressed in a timely manner, he said.

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