At the Fresh River Healthcare nursing home in East Windsor, the chance that a short-stay patient will end up back in the hospital within 30 days of arriving at the facility is less than eight percent. Meanwhile, 12 miles away at the Greensprings Healthcare and Rehabilitation nursing home in East Hartford, more than a third of patients who came from hospitals will be readmitted in 30 days. The wide swing in nursing home patients’ re-hospitalization rates has a lot to do with the condition patients are in when they are discharged from inpatient stays, as well as the planning that goes into the transition to other care. The federal government has been penalizing hospitals since 2012 for high rates of patients returning within 30 days of discharge. But now, nursing homes (or skilled nursing facilities) also are being held accountable for hospital readmissions.
Five nursing homes have been fined at least $1,000 by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) in connection with lapses in care, abuse of one resident and a resident who committed suicide. The largest fine—$3,000—was levied on Cheshire Regional Rehab Center in connection with four residents who said they faced delays in receiving incontinent care. In one case, in October, a resident was placed in a wheelchair and was not changed for 10½ and hours, when incontinent care is supposed to be provided every two to three hours, the citation said. Ben Atkins, chairman of the home’s parent company, Traditions Senior Management of Clearwater, Fla., disagreed with the length of the waits, but added, “People shouldn’t have to wait.”
The citation also involved a resident who complained in October about being left in a shower for nearly an hour. The resident banged on pipes to call for help because an emergency call system was not within reach, DPH’s citation said.
Five Connecticut nursing homes received fines of more $1,000 each from the state Department of Public Health in connection with lapses of residents’ care, including cases that led to broken bones. Details of the cases were outlined in citations released Friday by DPH. On Jan. 27, Woodlake at Tolland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was fined $1,580 in connection with lapses in the care of three residents, DPH records show. In October, the nursing staff failed to give a resident with congestive heart failure a diuretic for 14 days, records show.