Five nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for errors that endangered or injured residents. Regency House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Wallingford was fined $10,000 for two violations. On Sept. 14, 2018, a resident suffered a calf laceration that needed 10 sutures after a wheelchair rolled into a bed frame. A nurse aide wheeled the resident in front of a bathroom door and walked to a dresser to get a comb when the wheelchair continued to roll.
Bridgeport Hospital has been sanctioned and fined $150,000 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after the hospital erroneously switched eight patient specimens, according to newly released documents. The errors in July 2017 resulted in two patients being given the wrong cancer diagnosis. In one case, a 41-year-old woman had a hysterectomy after being told she had cancer only to learn after the procedure that she did not. The second patient was a 66-year-old who was told that lab results were normal, only to learn later that there was a malignancy present, according to Bridgeport Hospital’s inspection report issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The violations were found when DPH inspectors made unannounced visits to Bridgeport Hospital in July 2018.
Four Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) after inspections uncovered various violations, most of which caused injuries to residents. River Glen Health Care Center in Southbury was fined $10,000 for two instances in which staff failed to use wheelchair foot rests, injuring residents. On July 22, 2018, a resident with dementia fell from a wheelchair while being moved by a licensed practical nurse. With feet down on the floor, the resident propelled forward from the chair, fell and suffered an injury to the forehead, according to DPH. An investigation found foot rests should have been on the wheelchair but were not.
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 racial disparity between white and black cancer patients in accessing timely treatments has virtually disappeared in states where Medicaid expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new study. Yale Cancer Center researchers analyzed more than 30,000 health records and found that, prior to Medicaid expansion, black adults with advanced or metastatic cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely than white adults to begin treatments within 30 days of being diagnosed. But in states where Medicaid was expanded, in 2014 or later, the percentage of black patients getting timely treatment rose from 43.5 percent to 49.6 percent. There also was a small improvement in expansion states among white patients receiving timely treatment – from 48.3 percent to 50.3 percent – bringing the post-expansion difference between the two racial groups to less than one percentage point. “Our results suggest that Medicaid expansion led to improved health equity,” said study author Amy Davidoff, a senior research scientist at Yale School of Public Health and in Yale Cancer Center’s Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center (COPPER).
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.
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.
Fifteen Connecticut hospitals will lose 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements this fiscal year as penalties for having relatively high rates of hospital-acquired conditions, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. The hospitals are among 800 nationwide being penalized – the highest number since the federal Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program started five years ago, according to a Kaiser Health News (KHN) analysis of the CMS data. The penalties will be levied during the current fiscal year, which began in October 2018 and runs through September. Under the program, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, the government levies penalties based on hospitals’ rates of infection related to colon surgeries, hysterectomies, urinary tract catheters and central lines inserted into veins. It also reviews infection rates for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and Clostridium difficile, known as C. diff, as well as rates of blood clots, sepsis, post-surgery wounds, bedsores and hip fractures, among other injuries.
Six nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that resulted in residents being endangered or injured. Noble Horizons in Salisbury was fined $6,660 for incidents related to elopement risks. On Sept. 23, 2018, a resident with dementia left the facility when a WanderGuard sensor malfunctioned. A driver in a pickup truck found the resident walking down the facility’s driveway.