How Not To Fix Nursing Homes -- Budgets and Budgeting

Everybody wants to fix Connecticut's nursing homes. The problem is, the fix elected officials have in mind is empty rhetoric, and it could do more damage than good. Full Story
John

Plainville, CT

#21 Apr 7, 2008
?
The Future

Bedford, OH

#22 Apr 7, 2008
Ms. Fatone's comments are accurate. If the Governor and the Legislators do not sit down to discuss the future of nursing home care, soon the State will own the very hard task of taking care of all the wonderful residents of Connecticut's nursing homes. I do not think they are prepared for it.
The system has been broken for a long time, but the State has chosen to ignore countless requests to address the problems. The State was aware of Haven's problems and chose to try to solve them without addressing the core.
The math just doesn't work. 1% on something that is already underfuding the industry will never work. Is there anything that has gone up in price by only 1%?
We must fix the system and the funding, otherwise the price tag in the near future will be many times more that what is really needed today.
Lynn McLane

New London, CT

#23 Apr 7, 2008
Great article, as Ms. Fatone tells the REAL FACTS. Residents are frailer, and come to SNF's "quicker & sicker" than in years past. They need and deserve excellent care, and qualified staff to deliver that care. Unfortunately, the focus has been drawn to a "few bad apples" in the industry, and not on the many wonderful facilities and employees that work in those SNF's.
Bill White New London

AOL

#24 Apr 7, 2008
I applaud the Courant for posting Toni Fatone's article on the fallacy being perpetrated by the CT Legislature. If you could put it on your front page, perhaps Connecticut's Seniors will realize that the services they receive and expect, are woefully underfunded and the "Empty Rhetoric" that the legislature is spreading is nothing more than a smoke screen rather than a true analysis and fix of the problems that Nursing homes are facing.
We need the Media to personally confront our leaders and force them to address a problem that is only going to get worse as the "Boomers" enter Long Term Care.
Senior Citizen Volunteer

AOL

#25 Apr 7, 2008
The system in CT is BROKEN!!! It is an embarrassment.

Marathon is just the beginning of several nursing homes in this state that will be facing financial challenges if our politicians don't face up to the facts. How is any provider that houses mostly medicaid patients supposed to make ends meet with what this state is offering.

Shame on you Governor Rell!
Nick

Meriden, CT

#26 Apr 7, 2008
Until people have dealt first hand with the healthcare system on behalf of themselves or a loved one they will not have a clue and by into the "sound bite" of these political jackals who only want to be re elected.

As we and our loved ones see the "greying" of America before our eyes it may take people to get torches and pitch forks and storm the castle before these politicians will do anything about it.

I know this because they have the best health care benefits for themselves so how can they even understand what they rest of us have to go through.
GMG3

Plainville, CT

#28 Apr 7, 2008
Toni Fatone has it right. You don't fix the nursing home problem by reactionary legislation on the heels of a unique situation like Haven Healthcare and Mr. Termini.
What we need is thoughtful well-researched and constructed legislation to prevent MORE failures in nursing home companies. That means looking at the many factors that lead to failures.
It appears that some of our law-makers are convinced that DPH and DSS did not do a good enough job "overseeing" the Haven situation. So they want to add five surveyors and five auditors to those departments respectively. Is the solution found in more money spent on government employees for oversight? What about providing better funding to nursing homes, so bills can be paid on time, and staffing added when needed. BUT LET the operators decide what staffing is needed. We are already ALL staffing above the minimums in the public health code. Nursing homes "compete" for admissions, and competition is good. People know which homes give the best care, and provide adequate staffing within the limits we must work with. No one wants to see taxes raised in our present economic climate. We do not need more "oversight" to fix the problem. We do not need arbitrarily set higher staffing ratio's and/or nursing hours per patient day. We need the resources, and the freedom to put them to best use according to the very complex and various care requirements from one nursing home to another.
Just my opinion, but I am sticking by it. I think there may a good number of other nursing home administrators and workers who would agree.
Elder Care Crisis in CT

Milford, CT

#29 Apr 7, 2008
GMG3 wrote:
BUT LET the operators decide what staffing is needed.
And while we're at it let's let the drivers decide what the speed limits should be. Sadly many operators are more concerned about profit than residents. Proper oversight is a MUST.
GMG3 wrote:
People know which homes give the best care,
And all the good homes have long waiting lists. In some cases these waits are well over a year.
Elder Care Crisis in CT

Milford, CT

#30 Apr 7, 2008
CT no longer wrote:
It really does seam that the system is broken in CT and as a very talented Administrator I can honestly....
As a blue collar, uneducated, average guy it really does SEEM to me that you can't spell. Perhaps you should re-think that "very talented" comment?

I normally don't pick on minor things like spelling but when you try to tout yourself as something special I have to call you on it.
Faith in Marathon

Oakdale, CT

#31 Apr 7, 2008
Earl is a great manager, and a great person. He will come back on top. It's a pretty tough time when you're dealing with the dirty politics of the state. They need to slay the lambs to make themselves look better. It's too bad they have to get down on the few good guys we have left. Marathon is a wonderful company with a great reputation for their quality care. They put their residents first and foremost. This is coming from a daughter who's mother is currently a very alert and aware resident at Marathon. I visit my mother regularly and she is very happy, healthy and well taken care of by the staff and management of Marathon.
To all of the judgmental comments out there- it's sad that you really just don't have a clue at all.
CSE

East Hampton, CT

#32 Apr 7, 2008
I nominate Toni Fat one to be canonized. It "seams" to me she deserves it.

Since: Apr 08

Wolcott, CT

#33 Apr 7, 2008
Dear "Elder Care Crisis in CT"

Who determines how fast you drive your car? And what kind of gas you put in the tank? And if it has been properly maintained and serviced? Is it you, the operator, or the "rules of the road." Rules are only as good as those who agree to abide by them. There are always a "few" who will not follow the rules. Oversight is to correct the few, not drive the car. Your example is flawed, along with much else you say. There are many GOOD nursing home operators, with good, hard-working staff, and good survey records, and NO waiting list for a bed. I hope I spelled everything correctly for you.
Observer

Southington, CT

#34 Apr 8, 2008
It's sort of ironic that when a facility goes into bancruptcy and is sold, the new owner who decides to purchase it negotiates a higher Medicaid rate with the State - and the State is OK with that process. So, it's likely the Haven and Marathon facilities are going to eventually have higher rates with new ownership. I wonder if the legislators realize that to pay for their proposal, every facility would first have to go through bancruptcy, be sold and then go through a negotiation with a new owner just to have a higher rate. Strange but true...
Gail

Charlotte, NC

#35 Apr 8, 2008
Elder Care Crisis in CT wrote:
<quoted text>
As a blue collar, uneducated, average guy it really does SEEM to me that you can't spell. Perhaps you should re-think that "very talented" comment?
I normally don't pick on minor things like spelling but when you try to tout yourself as something special I have to call you on it.
I noticed that also. She did it twice.
Elder Care Crisis in CT

Milford, CT

#36 Apr 8, 2008
GMG3 wrote:
Dear "Elder Care Crisis in CT"
Who determines how fast you drive your car? And what kind of gas you put in the tank?
My point was who sets speed limits not how fast people drive. I made the comment to disagree with you saying that providers should be able to set staffing levels. The state needs to set realistic standards and properly enforce them. To let providers set their own limits would be asking for trouble from the bad homes out there.

Like some drivers, some nursing home Administrators will do stupid things. There needs to be regulation of both to prevent abuse.
GMG3 wrote:
There are many GOOD nursing home operators, with good, hard-working staff, and good survey records, and NO waiting list for a bed.
I agree with everything except the waiting list point. Perhaps you can give us a list of good home without lists? It would be help to many I'm sure.

There are also some good, hard-working staff at some bad homes. I appreciate the efforts of all the good staffers out there.
GMG3 wrote:
I hope I spelled everything correctly for you.
Your spelling SEEMS ok, logic not so good. <grin>
Rick Parsons

United States

#37 Apr 8, 2008
I agree with Toni. I work in the nursing home field and it is ridiculous that legislators think we only staff at what the State Public Health Code mandated level. This was written years ago and providers have made adjustments themselves. Staffing at these levels would put residents at risk. What we really need is funding behind what we are currently doing/staffing. Lets not get the cart before the horse.
Rick Parsons

United States

#38 Apr 8, 2008
Elder Crisis..it sounds like you do not work in the field and only read blogs and news stories. It is a shame you weigh in like an experienced professional when you probably have never stepped foot in a nursing home.
Elder Care Crisis in CT wrote:
<quoted text>
My point was who sets speed limits not how fast people drive. I made the comment to disagree with you saying that providers should be able to set staffing levels. The state needs to set realistic standards and properly enforce them. To let providers set their own limits would be asking for trouble from the bad homes out there.
Like some drivers, some nursing home Administrators will do stupid things. There needs to be regulation of both to prevent abuse.
<quoted text>
I agree with everything except the waiting list point. Perhaps you can give us a list of good home without lists? It would be help to many I'm sure.
There are also some good, hard-working staff at some bad homes. I appreciate the efforts of all the good staffers out there.
<quoted text>
Your spelling SEEMS ok, logic not so good. <grin>
Richard Mollot

United States

#39 Apr 9, 2008
This is a completely self-serving article, skewed to the needs and interests of the provider "community." The author seems to forget that nursing homes are currently being paid to ensure safety and a good quality of care and life for the residents entrusted to them. Nobody forces nursing home providers to be in the business and, interestingly enough, there are generally plenty of potential providers interested when a nursing home becomes available.

Thus, the question is not how can we dig up more money to help nursing homes provide adequate staff but, rather, how long are we going to allow providers to be unaccountable for the money they take in day after day while persistently failing our most vulnerable citizens?
Nick

Meriden, CT

#40 Apr 10, 2008
Richard Mollot wrote:
This is a completely self-serving article, skewed to the needs and interests of the provider "community." The author seems to forget that nursing homes are currently being paid to ensure safety and a good quality of care and life for the residents entrusted to them. Nobody forces nursing home providers to be in the business and, interestingly enough, there are generally plenty of potential providers interested when a nursing home becomes available.
Thus, the question is not how can we dig up more money to help nursing homes provide adequate staff but, rather, how long are we going to allow providers to be unaccountable for the money they take in day after day while persistently failing our most vulnerable citizens?
The nursing home industry seems to have a failed business model from the start.

The only way nursing homes can really make a go of it is through aquisitions to get their hands on new source of cash flow. Its when they stop doing that that they get into trouble financially.

As far as providers being accountable for funds shouldnt you start at the begining at whose paying and how much. That might suprise you
Marathon Healthcare

Plainville, CT

#41 Apr 10, 2008
Oh no !! Dr. Mengele Strikes Again!!

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