Thursday, November 22, 2007

156 not such a haven after all

I've not said it before, but the place my dad is at is called Haven Healthcare, and it's in Rocky Hill. My dad is very fond of the aide who takes care of him during the week, and overall we have no complaints about the place.
But he may not be there much longer, and not because he's dying this time.
A major scandal involving the owner of Haven has hit in the last few days. Evidently, money from the various nursing homes was siphoned out to start a country music recording studio, and bills at the nursing homes are going unpaid because the money isn't there. There is a possibility that government money, such as the Medicaid A funds my dad's contributing, may have been used to start this recording studio.
The nursing homes are now in bankruptcy, as of Tuesday, and the state may take them over.
This is a local article, from the Hartford Courant. The link actually leads to a full page of other links, video, pictures and more about the scandal.
Haven Healthcare, under scrutiny after a Courant investigation exposed patient-care deficiencies in many of the chain's 15 Connecticut nursing homes and that the chain was millions in debt for unpaid bills, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that the state would file a motion to appoint an independent trustee to take control over the chain's nursing home operations throughout the state. Haven's bankruptcy filing reveals that the company's 50 largest creditors are owed nearly $31 million...(C)ompany CEO Raymond Termini used corporate assets to launch a Nashville record company and food business and to buy a lakefront home in Middlefield. .... Blumenthal accused the company of severe mismanagement and jeopardizing the health, safety and welfare of the nearly 2,000 patients it serves in Connecticut.... Ray Termini, chief executive officer of Haven Healthcare and Category 5, has blamed much of the company's problems on low Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care services.
But he had enough money to buy a new house and a recording studio from those same funds.
Go figure.

Another article states:
Haven Healthcare, which owns 15 nursing homes in Connecticut and 10 in other New England states, has been fined more than 45 times in the last three years for serious patient-care deficiencies — at least 30 times by the state health department and 15 by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which imposes penalties for gross violations. Many of the health violations, such as allowing residents to develop bedsores and become dehydrated, show up year after year in inspection reports, even after state and federal health officials have levied fines for those deficiencies. But the chain — one of the three largest in the state — has escaped more serious sanctions, such as a loss of government funding or operating restrictions, even in cases where the lapses in care led to patients' deaths. Haven Healthcare's troubled record affords a window into a state and federal regulatory system that is reluctant to pull funding or licenses from nursing homes or to prosecute cases of neglect. A study earlier this year by congressional investigators found that federal overseers imposed only minimal penalties on nursing homes that were repeatedly cited for patient-care deficiencies. Although the other large chains also have been cited for serious violations, Haven Healthcare stands out because it has faced the heaviest state fines, litigation and debt claims in the last three years, and runs a home with the highest number of patient-care violations, according to records.... Records show the chain has collected millions in Medicare reimbursements for pharmaceutical supplies, but has not used that money to pay its pharmacy bills. Meanwhile, company CEO Raymond Termini used assets of Haven Eldercare, the chain's corporate parent, to buy a lakefront house in Middlefield in 2003 and to launch a record company in Nashville in late 2005. His Category 5 Records, housed in a $2.1 million building Termini purchased last December, boasts two-time Grammy winner Travis Tritt....
(there is a lot of information on the other Havens in Connecticut...which I've skipped here)
Also last October, Haven's Rocky Hill home was cited for failing to notify a physician of a resident's abnormal blood sugar level. The resident was found unresponsive and having seizures. The home paid a $280 state fine. In November, the Rocky Hill home was cited for failing to monitor the fluid intake of three residents who became dehydrated. The state fine: $755.
Now, my father has been on an IV drip there even when we felt he didn't need it. He does have bedsores (being treated), and he did fall while there.

I know Patty Doherty of the Unforgettable Fund is going to be all over this story. Have at 'em, Patty! She had asked me a few days ago to comment on this story, in USA Today, which she contributed to, about Alzheimer's patients who form bonds of affection with people other than their spouses in nursing homes. My dad loves his aide, and seems to recognize her more than he does my mom. Well, he sees the aide every day for hours, and my mom every few days for an hour, during which he is often asleep. Who is more familiar to him now? The aide. I haven't got much else to say about it, and the Haven scandal is more immediate and threatening right now.
My mother is worried enough to start calling our lawyer and checking into other open applications at other care facilities. We don't know what's going to happen at this place, and with an Alzheimer's patient, uncertainty in the surroundings is not a good thing.

If you are interested: Nursing Home comparison chart.
Link to the actual page about Haven of Rocky Hill.

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who are walking this path with us. I was sad that my dad wasn't with us today. The table felt smaller and less happy without his blue-eyed gaze.


e said...

I can't tell you how many times since Mom has been diagnosed with AD I've thought about forming a co-op board and care with my friends and co-workers who are going through the same thing. A. It would be more affordable, 2. We would be in control of the quality of care and not have to "worry" about what to do with the profit. Seriously, there are at least 5 people I know who are in the same situation... There must be SOMETHING we can do besides piss and moan about it...

I am terribly afraid that my mom will end up in one of "those" places. I mean, inspections are conducted with notice... How horrible would these places be if the inspection was a surprise?


Anonymous said...

I used to be a vendor for Haven - I specialize in working with nursing home companies. I was given a tour of their corp headquarters in 2003 by Ray himself. The offices were so lavish is was out of place with every other nusing home company we have ever worked with. Alarm bells went off because they were not current on our bill (30K plus) but there was a plasma tv in every hallway running a Haven video. Something was not right. Several months later I shut them off and got most of what they owed me and ran like hell.

Mauigirl said...

Hi, just catching up with the last couple of entries. How awful about the bankruptcy and irregularities at the nursing home! I hope your dad doesn't have to move; he probably feels comfortable where he is and of course likes his aide there, so for his sake he's better off staying where he is.

I like "e"'s idea of forming a coop board and care center. I've also read about groups of Baby Boomers buying property so that they can age together and take care of each other as they get older. Interesting concept.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by and let you know I'm thinking of you, especially on Thanksgiving. My dad wasn't at the last two Thanksgiving dinners he was alive for - one year he was in the hospital, and the next year, the nursing home. It's sad when they can't be with us on holidays like that.

I'm really glad you brought the dog to see him, I'm sure he knew Ace was there.

Patty McNally Doherty said...

When it comes to nursing homes, I have two words to say:

Ila Swan.

Google her, and read everything ever written about this woman. Her battle with the nursing home industry should make us all sit up and take notice.

Adult Day Care said...

Nursing home abuse and elder abuse is simply inexcusable,its very regretful that nursing home residents often become victims of nursing home owners and management that care more about profits than for the people that they are paid to provide care for.this kind of behaviour of the nursing home may causes to reduce the trust of the pple and they may hesitate to admit their dear ones to the nursing home.