Six nursing homes have been fined in connection with one resident who was physically abused, one who broke a leg and one who was hospitalized with severe dehydration and later died. In two state Department of Public Health [DPH] citations on Dec. 7, Touchpoints at Farmington was fined a total of $2,810 in connection with a resident who was hospitalized in May 2015 in intensive care with severe dehydration and then transferred to hospice care. Maura Downes, DPH’s spokeswoman, said the resident died more than two weeks after the incident, but DPH officials were not able to “substantiate causation between the incident and the resident’s death.”
The home was fined $1,580 in connection with the resident’s decline in fluid intake over eight days in May 2015. The home’s records failed to show that a doctor had been notified about the resident’s fluid intake, the citation said.
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.