Shuttered Iowa SNF to pay $100,000 to resolve claims of 'worthless' care

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The settlement was announced Wednesday.
The settlement was announced Wednesday.

The owners of a Iowa nursing home that closed this week have agreed to pay $100,000 to settle allegations that the facility provided “grossly substandard” care to residents.

The Abbey of Le Mars in Le Mars, IA, moved residents to other facilities and closed Tuesday after its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement was terminated, the Des Moines Register reported.

Federal investigators studied cases of 16 Abbey residents from January 2009 to February 2015. They found the facility failed to address skin conditions and fractures, and did not provide residents with adequate food, bathing or toileting care.

The service provided by the facility “was so grossly substandard that the care was worthless and effectively without value,” the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Abbey also allegedly used physical restraints and unnecessary medications instead of other interventions to subdue residents, and often used antipsychotic medications “so as to decrease residents' needs,” authorities said.

The agreement with the federal government was signed by the owner of the building where the Abbey operated, along with a paid consultant to the facility, its president, the administrator and a former director of nursing. Authorities noted that the investigation into the facility was conducted as part of the Department of Justice's Elder Justice Task Force program.

A person who answered the phone at the Abbey responded to McKnight's request for comment by saying that facility “is no longer in business."