The 60 West facility, located in Rocky Hill, Conn., was named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of best nursing homes and was one of the 42 facilities in the state to get a “Top Performing” rating in the publication’s 2018-2019 list of Best Nursing Homes. As of November, 90 of the building’s 95 beds were occupied, defying national occupancy trends.
Operator iCare obtained those accolades — and that almost 95% occupancy — with a focus on an unusual population: Paroled prisoners, either near the end of their lives or with complex medical conditions, who have been compassionately released through a board established by the state of Connecticut for that purpose.
“The real goal is taking a patient where not only is it going to save money, because it’s a lower-cost environment, but it’s also somebody they would have a challenge placing anywhere else in the community because they did something 20 years ago that’s really egregious,” David Skoczulek, vice president of business development at iCare told Skilled Nursing News.
The project is a joint venture between the state’s Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the Department of Corrections (DOC), with the building itself managed by iCare Health Network. The Manchester, Conn.-based iCare runs 10 SNFs, with approximately 1,300 beds, all in the Nutmeg State.
The nursing home opened in 2013, after iCare emerged as the winner in a request for proposals (RFP) process initiated by Gov. Dannel Malloy, and has been steadily growing ever since. The company has seen success through educating the community about the population that the nursing home serves, administrator Jessica DeRing told SNN, but the process hasn’t always been easy.
For one, the nursing home has had to combat lawsuits by people living by the nursing home and by the town of Rocky Hill over unease about the residents living at the home. All the lawsuits, though, were eventually resolved.
“There was sort of a knee-jerk reaction that these patients were going to be young and dangerous,” Skoczulek told SNN.
The DOC’s compassionate release review board conducts a stringent approval process, he emphasized, and any patient who comes to 60 West from the DOC has to be deemed a good fit.
Read the full story at Skilled Nursing News.