6 Connecticut nursing homes fined $30K+ by state

Six Connecticut nursing homes have been cited by the Department of Public Health for violating regulations, with fines totaling $30,481, according to Connecticut Health Investigative Team.

Here is a breakdown of the penalties:

1. Hamden, Conn.-based Whitney Center was fined $6,120 after a nurse aide took a picture of a resident being transferred to a shower chair on her phone June 18, 2019, according the DPH. The aide was given a written warning and eventually fired. The resident's family was immediately contacted and satisfied with the facility's response, Mike Rambarose, Whitney Center president and CEO, told C-Hit.

2. Apple Rehab West Haven (Conn.) was fined $7,440 for verbal abuse and violations resulting in resident injury. On June 14, 2018, a hairdresser at the facility's salon saw a large hematoma on a resident's shin, DPH said. It was learned that the resident had been bumped by a Hoyer lift while being transferred. On Dec. 14, 2018, an aide referred to a resident by a derogatory name, according to DPH. The aide was later fired. 

3. Ridgefield, Conn.-based Laurel Ridge Health Care Center was fined $6,960 after a resident suffered a subdural hematoma. On Oct. 8, 2019, the resident was being changed and fell out of bed. An aide was unable to stop the resident's head from hitting the floor, the DPH reports. Two staff members were required to help the resident out of bed, but only one was present at the time.

"We are confident that the issue raised in the report was isolated and not consistent with the care and customer service at our center," Tim Brown, spokesperson for parent company Athena Health Care Systems, told C-Hit. "All staff throughout our center were re-educated on our policies regarding two-person assist care and the importance of following policies."

4. Colchester, Conn.-based Harrington Court was fined $2,160 after a resident with dementia left the building twice. The resident was found July 7, 2019, walking around the parking lot and was then given a WanderGuard bracelet, according to the DPH. On Sept. 3, 2019, the resident left through an emergency door and was found two streets away, the citation says.  

5. Bridgeport (Conn.) Health Care Center was fined $1 after two nurses failed to call 911 when a resident died. The DPH citation says nurses found a resident with a do not resuscitate order lifeless May 15, 2019. Nurses were still supposed to provide all treatment besides CPR, including transfer to a hospital. The nurses were fired, the citation said, but the fine was only $1 because the facility is in receivership. 

6. Uncasville, Conn.-based Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center was fined $7,800 after a resident with dementia fell multiple times between Aug. 16, 2018, and June 7, 2019. The resident suffered injuries Aug. 21, 2018, when an aide improperly moved the resident without another staffer. 

Apple Rehab West Haven, Harrington Court, Bridgeport Health Care Center and Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center did not respond to Connecticut Health Investigative Team's request for comment.

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