Nursing Home Fined for Neglect after “Dumping” Navy Vet

Iowa Nursing Home Fined for Neglect and Abuse After Kicking Navy Vet Out for Unpaid Bills

nursing homeA nursing home in Des Moines, Iowa has been fined for neglect and patient abuse after releasing a seriously ill Navy veteran to live on his own because he was unable to pay his care bills.

John Chedester, 65, “was, for all practical purposes, dumped by the care facility into a vacant apartment,” said David Werning, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Chedester has several infectious and chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure, insulin-dependent diabetes, and a blood infection. He had little or no family support when he was admitted to the nursing home, and required assistance with walking and hygiene.

According to representatives for the Elmwood Care Centre of Onawa, Chedester refused to cooperate with staff from the nursing home and sign up for Medicaid, which would have paid his nursing home bills. Just 60 days after admission to the home, Chedester received a letter saying he would be involuntarily discharged because he was unable to pay his medical bills.

Chedester was then dropped off at an unfurnished apartment in Mapleton on November 1st, 2013. Conditions were so bad that a tenant, concerned for Chedester’s welfare, brought him a blanket, microwave, and some silverware. The day after he was kicked out of the nursing home, local police and a neighbor intervened and rushed him to a hospital.

“They dropped me off at the apartment on a Friday, and the next thing I can remember was when I came to in the hospital on Sunday,” Chedester told The Des Moines Register.

“I don’t think he would have lasted one more night there in the apartment,” said Sgt. Roger Krohn of the Monona County Sheriff’s Department. “We would have found a dead body there the next day.”

Chedester was later readmitted to the Elmwood Care Centre after the federal government fined the care facility $5,752 for serious patient neglect and abuse.

Denial of critical care for a dependent adult is a form of elder abuse in the state of Iowa. However, Elmwood Care Centre was never charged, and the original almost $9,000 federal fine was reduced by 35% when the home said it would forego an appeal. The nursing home failed to inform the state ombudsman, as legally required, of the involuntary discharge, so Deanna Clingan-Fischer, Iowa Long-Term Care Ombudsman, was not aware of the situation until November 9th. The home also failed to inform Chedester he could appeal the discharge with the Ombudsman, also in violation of state law. State records show that Elmwood Care Centre was not cited for the neglect, either.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Patient Neglect and Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse and patient neglect cases can be difficult to establish because of a widespread tendency by insurance adjusters, physicians, among others, to discount an elderly person’s injuries and the diminished quality of life that results from these damages. If your loved one has been injured while under the care of a nursing home, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC nursing home lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your best possible course of action.  We offer flexible appointment times and will aggressively fight for justice. 803.252.4800

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