Federal Agency Fines Buffalo Center Nursing Home Over Deficiencies

The federal government has fined an Iowa nursing home nearly $77,500 over deficiencies in care for residents. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services notified Timely Mission in Buffalo Center about the fine on Friday.

The notification letter cites findings from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which surveyed the facility in June. Officials said they found conditions that constituted “immediate jeopardy” to resident health and safety.

According to state officials, nursing home resident Virginia Olthoff, 87, was dehydrated, in severe pain and weighed less than 100 pounds prior to her death in February. They said staffers waited nearly three hours before requesting an ambulance, despite being unable to get a blood pressure reading or feel her pulse.

Olthoff may not have had water for several days before being admitted to the hospital, state officials said. She died after being returned to the nursing home on Feb. 27, the same day she was admitted to the hospital.

The facility has 60 days to appeal the federal fine. The CMS letter said the fine will be reduced by 35 percent if nursing home officials waive their right to an appeal.