The Westside Care Center in Manchester is ranked among the best nursing homes in Connecticut, receiving a ‘five-star’ rating for overall quality under a federal rating system. At the same time, Westside has the state’s highest percentage of residents who receive antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have a psychosis or related condition that regulators say warrants their use. Federal data shows 68 percent of Westside long-stay residents were receiving the drugs – more than double the state’s average of 26 percent, which already ranks in the top-third of states nationally. A C-HIT review of federal nursing home data from December found that Westside is not alone: High antipsychotic use, considered dangerous and unnecessary in many cases, does not impact quality ratings of nursing homes, and is often unknown to consumers selecting a home. In three-dozen Connecticut homes, at least a third of long-stay residents are on antipsychotics – yet nearly half of those homes have excellent overall ratings, of 4 to 5 stars.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has joined two other senators introducing legislation designed to protect patients from unsafe medical devices without derailing the current fast-tracking system of medical device approvals.
Over the years, Andy Gow of Wallingford didn’t know what to make of word that more and more of his former Air Force buddies were being diagnosed with prostate cancer or diabetes. Then, in 2003, he got the news firsthand—he had both diseases – and began to connect the dots.
A group of senators, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, is asking President Obama to start sending condolence letters to families of U.S. service members who kill themselves, in what would be a reversal of long-standing policy.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has called on the Department of Defense [DoD] to grant Freedom of Information Act requests from veterans organizations seeking information on the alleged misuse of personality disorder discharges.