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CR Care Center Fined for Violations
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- CBS 2 News has learned that a Cedar Rapids care center was fined thousands of dollars for violations that includes at least one resident who went missing. An investigation by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals' Health Facilities Division issued a $10,000 fine against Heritage Nursing & Rehab Center located at 200 Clive Drive SW in Cedar Rapids.
That fine was suspended when the federal government stepped in and issued a new fine of $7,250. The state agency tells CBS 2 News that in the case of immediate jeopardy situations like the one investigated, the federal government supersedes the state.
In the state's investigation, a Class I violation was issued as a result of multiple violations. The focus of the investigation stemmed from a September 8th incident. The state report cited an incident when a resident of the care center, diagnosed with dementia, left the nursing home in their wheelchair without the facility staff knowing their whereabouts for approximately 25 minutes.
The report found the resident's Wanderguard device, which is supposed to alert staff to any attempts to exit the home, did not sound. After getting out of the care center, the report said the resident fell out of their wheelchair and a passerby found them on a sidewalk near a telephone pole. Investigators say staff interviews indicated they never heard an alarm about the resident's whereabouts and that an alternative alarm system was turned off.
State documents show the night of the incident, the facility tested its Wanderguard system and found some alarms sounded while others did not. The report says the center's maintenance department made adjustments immediately.
As for the secondary system that had been turned off, the report says the care center had the control switch covered at the nurse's desk so staff will no longer be able to switch it off. Staff was also retrained on the use of the alarm panel.
CBS 2 News contacted Heritage Nursing & Rehab. Supervisor Tom Hoskins declined an on-camera interview but said that their residents are "safe and secure," and that the facility addresses all problems as they come to their attention.
Heritage Nursing & Rehab Center, which claims 130 residents, was also cited for failing to implement care plan interventions to ensure residents received adequate supervision from hazards regarding falls. That violation cited five separate residents.