A former nursing home administrator in Coralville has been cited, warned and ordered to pay more than $1,000 in fees after he violated state law by involuntarily discharging a resident without providing written notice of the reason and the right to an appeal.
Steve Drobot, who was administrator for Windmill Manor nursing home between December 2008 and March 2010, also was charged with negligence and professional incompetence on allegations he failed to report incidents of dependent adult abuse, failed to ensure staff training, didn’t property oversee a director and failed to follow discharge procedures.
But, after a hearing before the Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators earlier this year, board members found insufficient evidence to support allegations of professional incompetence and negligence.
The board did find supporting evidence for the charge of violation of a regulation, rule or state law based on Drobot’s decision to discharge one patient to another facility on March 17, 2010, without any written notice giving a reason, without a notification of a right to appeal and without documentation of counseling.
Drobot, according to the board’s written findings issued Tuesday, argued that the involuntary discharge and notice requirements were not required because the family agreed to the discharge.
In the board’s decision, members agree that “there is no question that (Drobot) faced a very difficult situation when he received (a call) informing him that the facility was in ‘immediate jeopardy,’ which required immediate abatement.”
Drobot was told he had to either provide one-to-one supervision for the resident or discharge him, according to the board’s decision. Drobot made contact with the resident’s daughter and led her to believe that her father had to be discharged either because the state required it or because the facility was in immediate danger of closing, according to the decision.
“It is clear that (the) daughter was not given clear or accurate information,” the decision states. “(The daughter) did not want to move her father but did not understand that she had any right to resist or appeal the discharge.”
In a separate case involving Windmill Manor, former director of nursing Karen Etter was charged with attempting to impede or interfere with a state representative after employees said Etter told them in May 2009 that if they reported issues to the state before telling her, they would be fired.
According to state records, a male resident in 2008 was found having sex with a female resident who had Alzheimer’s disease. State regulators said the woman could not have consented to sex because of her illness.
A nurse at Windmill Manor said Etter made threats to the staff in May 2009.
A Johnson County magistrate in August 2010 found Etter not guilty, stating in her written ruling that there was no pending investigation of the nursing home when Etter threatened to fire the employees.
Windmill Manor remains open in Coralville, and a current director or administrator was not available Wednesday to comment for this story.