By Clark Kauffman (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
State officials say they are conducting a criminal investigation into the treatment of residents at a southern Iowa nursing home.
State inspectors say a female resident of Sigourney’s Windsor Place Senior Living Campus was left in a vegetative state in November after the facility’s administrator ignored the staff’s concerns about the woman’s worsening condition and her requests to be taken to a hospital.
The administrator is also alleged to have “badgered” and then evicted a male resident of the home by having the staff dump his belongings outside and then wheel him to the exit with nowhere to go. The eviction stemmed from efforts to force Medicaid-dependent residents into shared rooms, staffers at the home told inspectors.
Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals spokeswoman Stefanie Bond said Tuesday that the agency’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit – which investigates allegations of dependent-adult abuse as well as fraud – is now conducting a criminal investigation related to the matter. It’s not clear whether the investigation is focused on one or both incidents.
Bond said DIA also made a criminal referral in the matter to the Keokuk County Attorney’s Office on Dec. 12, 2022, which was two weeks before DIA’s inspectors finished their investigation at Windsor Place.
The letter Bond refers to informed the county prosecutor that an allegation of abuse had been received by DIA’s intake unit. The letter states that DIA had yet to investigate the matter to determine whether there was evidence to support the allegation.
Keokuk County Attorney Amber Thompson said she received the letter and had read an Iowa Capital Dispatch story about the situation at Windsor Place, but DIA had not referred the case to her for criminal prosecution.