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.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined five doctors, including fining a West Hartford psychiatrist $7,500 for prescribing excessive doses of Xanax and fining a Hamden ophthalmologist $7,500 for having a consensual relationship with an adult patient. The board also reprimanded the medical license of the psychiatrist, Dr. Dale Wallington, for performing an inadequate diagnosis of the patient and for failing to implement strategies between 2008 and 2017 to prevent the patient’s abuse of Xanax and Vyvanse, a consent order Wallington agreed to said. Vyvanse is used to treat attention deficit disorder. The board also placed Wallington’s license on probation for 18 months, during which he must take a course in prescribing practices and hire a physician to review a portion of his medical records, the order said. In a letter to the state Department of Public Health, the patient’s parents complained about Wallington’s care of their son and objected to the consent order.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined 10 nurses, including revoking the licenses of three nurses and imposing fines on two others. The board revoked the licensed practical nurse license of Laurie Davidson of Bolton after finding that she failed to properly document medical records while working in 2015 as a nurse at Walnut Hill Care Center in New Britain. Davidson has an 18-year history of substance abuse and was suspected of taking “excessive” amounts of drugs from Walnut Hill, the board’s memorandum of decision said. The board revoked the registered nurse license of Amanda Alarcon of Shelton for failing to attend therapy sessions or submit to drug tests, its memorandum of decision said. Those were violations of a four-year probation that the board imposed in 2017 because she had abused heroin between 2011 and 2014, state records show.
Four nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that hurt or endangered residents. The Springs at Watermark 3030 Park in Bridgeport was fined $6,960 after a resident fell onto the floor when being moved from a bed to a wheelchair by two nurse aides. The resident suffered a broken right tibia and fibula in the fall, which happened May 4, 2018, according to DPH. An investigation found the nurse aides were using a Hoyer lift to help with the transfer, as outlined in the resident’s care plan, but the resident slid out of the lift pad. The pad was “bunched up” and had been incorrectly put above the resident’s head when it should have been placed at the base of the resident’s neck, according to the citation.
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 Board of Examiners for Nursing this month disciplined five nurses, including two registered nurses who stole drugs meant for patients and took them for their own use. Meeting in Hartford on April 17, the board imposed a four-year probation on the registered nurse license of Kerry Donlon of the Oakville section of Watertown, who stole the opioid painkiller Hydromorphone for her own use while working as a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2016, a consent order she agreed to said. Donlon also took allergy medicine and medicine for muscle spasms for her own use while working as a nurse at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport in 2018, the order said. She used all three drugs to excess, the order said.
The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday suspended the license of a Shelton doctor for two years and placed his license on probation for four years after accepting a hearing panel’s finding that his paranoid behavior is affecting his ability to safely practice medicine. The first two years of the probation runs at the same time as the suspension, which will be followed by two years of probation, the board’s memorandum of decision states. During the probation, Dr. Nami Bayan must see a therapist. After the suspension ends, Bayan will not be allowed to have a solo practice and must practice medicine in a setting with other physicians during the probation, the order said. In July, the state Department of Public Health had ordered Bayan to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after he had sent emails to the department alleging “corruption and organized crime” in the U.S. medical system, law enforcement and DPH, the memo said.
In Connecticut nine hospitals, including Yale New Haven Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and Sharon Hospital, received an overall 4-star rating, new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. But six hospitals – Bridgeport Hospital, Griffin Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Waterbury Hospital and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital – received the lowest overall rating of 1 star. The overall ratings summarize a variety of care measures that hospitals treat patients for, such as heart attacks, pneumonia and infections, and show how well each hospital performs on average compared to other hospitals in the country, according to CMS’ website. None of the state’s 28 hospitals received CMS’ highest rating of 5 stars.
Six nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations in which residents were injured or endangered. Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford was fined $7,800 after a resident with dementia fell from an X-ray table to the floor. The resident fell on Aug. 22, 2018, and suffered a head laceration that required five sutures, according to DPH. A registered nurse had asked the X-ray technician whether straps should be used to secure the resident to the table, but the technician said none were available.
A Norwich doctor was disciplined by the state Medical Examining Board for failing to appropriately manage the care of patients with pain, diabetes and a seizure disorder. It’s the third time that Dr. Helar Campos, who also has an office in New London, has been disciplined by the board. Campos was reprimanded and fined $8,000 and had his medical license placed on probation for six months under a consent order he agreed to. During the probation, he must hire a physician to monitor a portion of his patients’ records. In 2012, Campos was fined $7,000 for the illegal delegation of nursing care to unlicensed staff, state Department of Public Health records show.