Westport Nursing Home Fined Following Theft Of Residents’ Funds; Four Others Cited For Care Lapses

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Five nursing homes have been fined by the state, including a facility in Westport where money was taken from residents’ trust funds.

Westport Rehabilitation Complex was fined $8,120 following the discovery of the thefts and another incident in which a resident was injured. An investigation found that 20 residents had money missing from their resident trust funds and a facility business office manager was responsible, according to the Department of Public Health (DPH). In total, $3,161 was taken from the residents’ accounts.

According to the citation, the missing funds were discovered in November 2018 when an employee alerted the facility’s administrator of “concerns regarding the facility-managed residents’ trust funds.”  Several withdrawal documents appeared to have been altered with Wite-Out. The business manager who misappropriated the funds was terminated on Nov. 29, but the administrator didn’t report the incident to DPH until Dec. 6, the citation said.

Also at Westport, a resident suffered a right femur fracture after falling off a bed while receiving care on Oct. 1, 2018. A nurse aide knew the resident’s care plan called for two-staff assistance but tried to provide incontinence care alone when no other staff were available. The resident fell and was treated at an emergency department.

Officials at the facility didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Glen Hill Center in Danbury was fined $6,960 after a resident was mistakenly given two doses of insulin on the same day. The resident was found in the early morning of Dec. 6, 2018, unresponsive, diaphoretic, cool to the touch, and with low blood sugar, according to DPH. The resident was given a dose of glucagon and orange juice and responded well.

An investigation found the resident was given a dose of long-acting insulin the morning of Dec. 5 and a physician subsequently ordered a new, different dose starting at night. A licensed practical nurse transcribed the order incorrectly.

Officials at the facility didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Beechwood in New London was fined $6,120 after a resident fell from a wheelchair and suffered a head laceration. The resident, who had dementia and was at risk for falling, fell forward out of a wheelchair on Aug. 11, 2018, while being transported by a nurse aide, according to DPH.

The resident was taken to an emergency department and received two sutures.

The incident happened after a nurse aide transported a resident in a wheelchair but did not use leg rests as required. The facility didn’t have a wheelchair policy that directed the use of leg rests on wheelchairs, DPH said.

“Beechwood is proud of its family-owned and -operated history since 1955 and its repeated and current five-star ranking with Medicare. Our long record of excellence is not without isolated issues, such as this one,” said Bill White, president and administrator. “It was investigated, assessed, and corrected immediately and, as in all service recoveries, we are made wiser through learning and correction.”

Carolton Chronic & Convalescent Hospital in Fairfield was fined $3,060 after a resident fell out of a chair while being improperly transported to a shower.

The resident fell and suffered a forehead laceration on Jan. 1, while being moved in a shower chair by a nurse aide, according to DPH. The resident required the assistance of two staff members to get to the shower room, but the nurse aide tried to transport the resident without help, according to the citation. The resident also should have been in a shower trolley, not a shower chair. A registered nurse told investigators that, while it wasn’t noted in the clinical record, the resident received 10 sutures at a hospital to close the head laceration.

Officials at the facility didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Touchpoints at Manchester was fined $1,530 after a resident required two toe amputations and a transfemoral (above-the-knee) amputation.

The resident, who suffered from diabetes and other diagnoses, was taken to a hospital on Aug. 22, 2017, with necrotic, black wounds on the right and left big toes, according to DPH. Following an MRI on Aug. 31, the resident underwent two great toe amputations on Sept. 1 and a right transfemoral amputation on Oct. 20.

The state said that facility staff made multiple errors in assessing the toe wounds the resident developed prior to hospitalization. Among them, according to the citation: documentation failed to show that an advanced practice nurse had conducted a physical examination of the bilateral toes on Aug. 10; staff reported inflammation near toenails on Aug. 15 but failed to identify that a podiatry consult was ordered or that open-toed shoes or other alternatives were implemented; in July and August, physicians’ records failed to include orders for diabetic foot monitoring; and skin audits conducted in June were unavailable.

“Touchpoints at Manchester takes clinical care concerns very seriously,” said David Skoczulek, vice president of business development for parent company iCare Health Network.

“The Touchpoints at Manchester leadership team extensively reviewed this case with nursing leadership from the care center and developed a specific quality assurance and clinical documentation plan.”