State health officials have fined five nursing homes at least $1,500 each in connection with residents who were abused or injured and one who died in July after being outside in sweltering heat for hours. On Aug. 10, Gardner Heights Health Care Center in Shelton was fined $3,000 in connection with a resident who died after being outside in a garden for more than three hours on July 27 in 95-degree weather, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) citation. The resident, who frequently sat in the garden, was in good condition at 2:30 p.m. that day but at 5 p.m., was found to be unresponsive and died about 40 minutes later, the citation said. A review of video at the home could not substantiate that the resident had been checked by staff between 2:30 and 5 p.m., the citation said.
State health officials fined two nursing homes following incidents in which residents were injured and suffered complications after doctors’ orders were not followed. Apple Rehabilitation of Middletown was fined $1,635 by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) following an incident December in which a resident chewed an index finger until bone was exposed. The resident had osteoporosis and dementia, and a care plan noted that the resident had a habit of chewing the right index finger, according to DPH. On Nov. 30, 2015, a physician directed staff to keep the resident’s right hand covered with a sock to prevent chewing.
Three nursing homes have been fined more than $1,500 each by the state Department of Public Health in connection with residents who fell, broke bones or received the wrong medication. On June 21, Pilgrim Manor of Cromwell was fined $1,930 in connection with three residents who were hospitalized with injuries. One resident suffered a broken hip while being moved that required hospitalization on Dec. 28, DPH’s citation said. The state found that the home failed to complete a thorough assessment when the resident complained of pain and could not bear weight on a leg.
The state has fined an Avon nursing home where a resident died and a Bristol home where staff did not document how 10 residents suffered a total of 47 injuries. In all, four nursing homes were recently fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations. Apple Rehab Avon received two fines, totally $5,625, connected to a March incident in which a resident died and a nurse misinterpreted the medical file to contain a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order, according to documents. In the first citation, the facility was fined $3,000. According to the citation, on Feb.
The state has fined two nursing homes in connection with staff failing to follow notification procedures for changes in residents’ conditions and for a resident who fell and broke a bone. Evergreen Health Care Center in Stafford Springs received two citations and fines, totaling $3,890. In one citation, Evergreen Health was fined $2,360 for failure to follow facility procedures and notify a physician on condition changes of two residents. On March 1, a resident with heart failure, anxiety and dementia complained of seeing spots out of the left eye. A neurological assessment was done, which produced normal results, but the resident continued to complain of a sight problem, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH).
Connecticut still ranks high among states in the use of antipsychotic drugs for elderly nursing home residents, but its rate of use has dropped 33 percent since 2011 – a bigger decline than the national average — new government data show. The data released in June by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), show that nursing home residents in Connecticut, many with dementia, are still more likely to be given antipsychotics than their counterparts in 31 other states. But the state’s usage has fallen in the last 4 ½ years at a greater rate than the average drop of 27 percent, and it is now about the same as the national average — 17.4 percent. That’s down from 26 percent in 2011. CMS has been working with states for the past five years to address the overuse of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes.
Four nursing homes were recently fined by the state in connection with incidents in which residents were hospitalized, fell, broke a bone or were burned. On May 6, Sharon Health Care Center was fined $2,320 in connection with two residents who were burned when they were served hot food, the citation from the state Department of Public Health said. On Sept. 19, one resident was burned on the hand by hot pureed egg, the citation said. The resident was eating without help even though the care plan called for assistance during meals.
Five nursing homes have been fined at least $1,000 each by the state Department of Public Health in connection with lapses in care, residents who fell and broke bones and two residents who died. On Dec. 2, Water’s Edge Center of Health & Rehabilitation in Middletown was fined $1,160 in connection with a resident who died within days of falling out of bed at the home on Nov. 16. Though a care plan called for two staffers to turn the resident in bed, only one nurse’s aide was turning the resident when the fall occurred, DPH’s citation said.
In the last 10 years, the average number of serious deficiencies cited in nursing home inspections in Connecticut has dropped by 50 percent, while reported nurse staffing levels have risen, and reports of residents injured by lapses in care have declined, federal data show. But a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) questions whether those measures – many of them self-reported by nursing homes – accurately reflect improvements in nursing home care, or instead are due to deficiencies in reporting and oversight. The GAO notes that the average number of consumer complaints per nursing home actually has climbed in 30 states since 2005, including a 20 percent increase in Connecticut. The ability of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to assess nursing home quality “is complicated by various issues with these data, which make it difficult to determine whether observed trends reflect actual changes in quality, data issues, or both,” the GAO said. The agency said that self-reporting of some of the data is among the problems that could undermine CMS’s much-touted Nursing Home Compare program, which rates nursing homes on a ‘five-star’ scale and is intended to help guide consumers’ decisions.
State health officials have fined four Connecticut nursing homes following lapses in care that resulted in falls, injuries and a report of abusive comments. St. Joseph’s Center in Trumbull was fined $1,020 after a state Department of Public Health inspection found a resident who had been left unattended fell and suffered multiple facial fractures and a brain hemorrhage in October. According to the DPH, the resident suffered from Alzheimer’s dementia and had a history of falling. The resident was walking from the shower room with the help of a nursing assistant who heard another resident call for help.