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.
Six nursing homes have been cited by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for lapses in care, including two cases in which residents died. DPH fined Hancock Hall in Danbury $10,000 in August in connection with three incidents, including the case of a resident who died in June from complications due to a head injury caused by a fall out of a lift, the state citation said. Four days before the death, the resident was kicking and punching two nurse’s aides who were moving the person in the lift, the citation said. A clip on the lift pad came undone and the resident slipped out of the sling and onto the floor and sustained a head injury. A review found that the aides should have stopped the lift and notified a nurse when the person became combative.
Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that endangered or injured residents. Harbor Village North Health and Rehabilitation Center in New London was fined $3,000 for four violations. On Aug. 1, 2017, a resident with pulmonary heart disease was hospitalized with low blood pressure and incontinence after a registered nurse administered medication intended for another resident, according to DPH. On that same date, a second resident was mistakenly given long-acting insulin instead of fast-acting insulin by a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Six nursing homes have been fined more than $1,000 each by the state Department of Public Health in connection with incidents of residents being burned, losing teeth or breaking hips and one resident who molested at least seven others. On March 25, Masonicare of Newtown was fined $1,590 in connection with at least nine incidents in which one resident inappropriately touched the legs, groin or breasts of at least seven female residents. The DPH citation detailed that the resident made sexual comments toward or touched female staff members, visitors and residents between August and November of 2013. Though the resident was placed on one-to-one supervision at times and was twice sent to a psychiatric facility, DPH concluded that the home had failed to consistently correct the resident’s behavior or prevent the sexual abuse. Margaret Steeves, a Masonicare spokeswoman, said some residents with advanced dementia can display this type of behavior and “these behaviors can be difficult to manage.” The home used a number of interventions, including psychiatric interventions, to control the behavior while respecting the rights of all residents, she said.