Sioux City nursing home graduates from concentration program despite multiple violations


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A Sioux City nursing home graduated from an honors program less than a year before the process to close the facility for patient safety began.

According to Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA), Touchstone Healthcare Community has racked up 484 violations since 1999 and has been fined thousands of dollars. The latest violations occurred on May 26, including hazards in the environment, failure to notify appropriate personnel of health changes or injuries, care provided to dependent residents, and more. Violations resulted in more than $100,000 in fines.

The Special Concentration Facility (SFF) The program created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was designed to help nursing homes that have significant recurring violations improve and meet standard health and safety standards.

Touchstone Healthcare Community entered the SFF program on October 20, 2017 and was withdrawn from the program four years later on September 24, 2021, after meeting the eligibility criteria to graduate, according to a CMS spokesperson.

From 2019 to 2022, Touchstone received 48 complaints that resulted in a citation, including 47 while the facility was in the specialty program, according to Medicare. The school also received a complaint two weeks before graduating from the SFF program. A patient’s complaint of non-compliance with a care plan led to 2 federal violations and the facility corrected the actions that led to the violations. However, Touchstone received another complaint on February 15 due to incomplete background checks prior to the start date of several new employees. The documents stated that every employee hired before the background checks were completed had no history of abuse or criminal activity. Touchstone was fined $15,000 for the incident, according to Medicare.

Court documents filed on July 11 showed the facility had announced a 60-day voluntary closure notice and sought receivership. Documents ordered receivership and cited “imminent danger to residents”, and the business was turned over to Accura Healthcare Management Services.

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