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Care facility to close

April 30, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

At the Country Living Care Center, rural Toledo, on Thursday afternoon were five vehicles with official State of Iowa license plates and a Tama County deputy sheriff's car. State officials were there to assure proper care was being received by patients according to Department of Inspection and Appeals spokesperson David Werning.

Photo by John Speer

By John Speer

Central Iowa Press

Tama County Supervisors met in a special, closed session for an hour Friday afternoon. The only announced outcome was " no change in the present lease arrangement" for the county-owned care facility, according to Laura Kopsa, board secretary.

Attending the meeting were Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren, Sheriff Dennis Kucera, Country Living Board members Gary Matson and Michelle Allen, and Todd Ricker, CPC director.

The current 32 residents of the Country Living Care Center at rural Toledo may have to find a new home. David Werning, public information officer for the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals, told late Thursday afternoon

It was not immediately found the number of employees which would lose their jobs.

Inspection and Appeals had been informed on Wednesday of a decision to close the facility at the end of May.

That notice came from the Country Living Care Center Board which is a non-profit group which leases the facility from Tama County for one dollar a year. The board then contracts for the operation with a professional care service provider.

That arrangement has been in place for a number of years and was begun, at least in part, to make patients eligible for Medicare benefits to pay for their care. When operated by Tama County, the care facility was not elgible to receive federal payments for patient care because the county was also a government agency.

Guidelines prohibit a goverment entity from charging for care under the benefits..

Werning said the Department of Human Services staff and the Department of Elder Affairs Long-Term Care Ombudsman were at the care facility Thursday afternoon. He said they were there to assure "sufficient direct care staff were there to provide care for the residents."

A Tama County Sheriff deputy's vehicle was also at the care center at mid-afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Tama County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a closed meeting on Friday afternoon (April 24) under the Iowa Code section allowing for meetings to be closed to discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or when litigation is imminent.

Sources said this meeting is connected to the care facility matter.

The care facility has a 40 resident capacity.

Originally known as the Tama County Home, Country Living Care is only one of about a dozen of these faciltites still operating in Iowa, a state offical said Wednesday.



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