Rules in new state budget may force large Hamden nursing home to close

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One of the largest nursing homes in the New Haven area says it may have to close because of rules in the new state budget.

Under the new terms, more than 200 of the state’s nursing homes are receiving a 2 percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates specifically earmarked for staffing.

But nine nursing homes, including Arden House in Hamden, are seeing a significant cut in their reimbursement rates and may have to close down.

The local Mayor, Democrat Curt Leng, and other local political leaders went on a tour of Arden House Thursday. The state says that because Arden House has a less than 70 percent occupancy and just a one-star rating for three recent periods, under the rules of the new state budget their reimbursement rate is reduced to basic cost.

Former Arden House worker and current Republican city councilor, Betty Wetmore, says, “I just don’t understand what the state is thinking. They’re taking a few days inspection and they’re basing everything on that.”

During the visit, members of the staff expressed their concern about how disruptive the closing and relocation would be for the approximately 250 residents.

Mayor Leng says, “The threat of closing a facility like this…in a short period of time…the only words I can come up with if I’m speaking honestly is that it’s heartless.” Leng was joined today by Sen. George Logan (R-Ansonia) who’s district includes parts of Hamden.

Logan said, “This is a slap in the face to all the patients who live here, to the staff members who work hard to provide services, to the patients and it’s a slap in the face to the town of Hamden.”

The operators of Arden House say the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management is using out-of-date data.

Arden House Administrator, Patrick McDonnell, said, “The facility is licensed for 360 but we’re currently operating at probably around 267 operating beds.”

In a statement the Governor says this initiative will allow the state to meet consumer demand and increase rates to 96 percent of the nursing home facilities. A spokesperson for the Lamont administration says there are as many as 400 nursing home beds available within 15 miles of Arden House.

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