Most Connecticut hospitals will lose a percentage of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having high rates of readmitted patients, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Statewide, 26 of the 29 hospitals evaluated – 90 percent – will have their reimbursements reduced, by varying amounts, in the 2020 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of data from CMS.
CMS began in the 2013 fiscal year to penalize hospitals that have high rates of patients who are readmitted within one month of being discharged. The penalties were enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, intended to encourage better health care delivery. Nationwide, 2,583 hospitals will be penalized this year, according to Kaiser Health News.
The state Department of Public Health has fined four nursing homes, including an Enfield facility where a resident died. Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield was fined $10,000 for multiple violations. On March 20, a resident was found unresponsive, sitting upright with vomit on the face. The resident was pronounced dead by emergency services personnel 15 minutes later. Records show that CPR wasn’t initiated until five minutes after staff found the resident, and 911 was called one minute after that.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined three nursing homes for various violations, including a New Haven facility that was cited for cocaine use by residents. RegalCare at New Haven was fined $1,680 after four residents tested positive for cocaine. On April 30, 2018, a resident tested positive for cocaine after being seen handing a dollar bill with white powder on it to another resident, according to DPH. A physician’s order dated May 3 implemented several interventions, including room searches every day for three days, but the resident’s room was only searched May 4 and May 5. The resident who was handed the dollar bill with white powder on it, who had opioid dependence, tested positive for cocaine on May 1.
Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that occurred in 2017 and last year. Long Ridge Post-Acute Care in Stamford was fined $3,270 after a resident was found lying on the floor multiple times. The care plan for the resident, who had Alzheimer’s disease and anxiety, directed that the resident be kept in front of the nurse’s station when out of bed. According to the citation, the resident was found on the floor multiple times in 2017: June 23, June 27, July 4, Aug. 9 and Aug.
Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for lapses in care that endangered or hurt residents. Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canaan was fined $10,000 after a resident with dementia inappropriately touched four other residents. The resident came to the facility Feb. 27, from another nursing home and had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior, according to the citation. Geer documented four incidents of inappropriate touching of other residents between Feb.
A mother’s death a day after childbirth, a patient’s brain injury and death following thyroid gland surgery, a child’s abduction, and a sexual assault involving two patients were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 36 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals between 2017 and earlier this year. There were several instances when objects were left in patients following surgery. At Manchester Memorial Hospital, a series of staff errors contributed to a woman’s death one day after giving birth to a stillborn baby, the DPH inspection report said. The patient delivered the baby Jan.
Five nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for errors that endangered or injured residents. Regency House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Wallingford was fined $10,000 for two violations. On Sept. 14, 2018, a resident suffered a calf laceration that needed 10 sutures after a wheelchair rolled into a bed frame. A nurse aide wheeled the resident in front of a bathroom door and walked to a dresser to get a comb when the wheelchair continued to roll.
Bridgeport Hospital has been sanctioned and fined $150,000 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after the hospital erroneously switched eight patient specimens, according to newly released documents. The errors in July 2017 resulted in two patients being given the wrong cancer diagnosis. In one case, a 41-year-old woman had a hysterectomy after being told she had cancer only to learn after the procedure that she did not. The second patient was a 66-year-old who was told that lab results were normal, only to learn later that there was a malignancy present, according to Bridgeport Hospital’s inspection report issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The violations were found when DPH inspectors made unannounced visits to Bridgeport Hospital in July 2018.
Four Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) after inspections uncovered various violations, most of which caused injuries to residents. River Glen Health Care Center in Southbury was fined $10,000 for two instances in which staff failed to use wheelchair foot rests, injuring residents. On July 22, 2018, a resident with dementia fell from a wheelchair while being moved by a licensed practical nurse. With feet down on the floor, the resident propelled forward from the chair, fell and suffered an injury to the forehead, according to DPH. An investigation found foot rests should have been on the wheelchair but were not.
With tougher standards, 48% of the state’s nursing homes—104 facilities—received a four- or five-star rating for staffing, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Thirty-nine nursing homes (19%) earned a one- or two-star rating for staffing levels. Nursing Home Compare’s five-star system (5 being “much above average,” 4 “above average,” 3 “average,” 2 “below average” and 1 “much below average’) examines quality of care delivered, staffing and overall performance, among other factors. It gives consumers the ability to compare quality among facilities. CMS updated the rankings in April, following the release of new payroll data that gives insights into nursing home staffing trends.