Thousands of nursing home beds empty as state rebalances care

At the Governor’s House Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Simsbury, 17 of the nursing home’s 73 beds sat empty this spring – a 23-percent vacancy rate that would have been unlikely five years ago.

The home’s occupancy has fallen despite its above-average health care quality scores in the federal government’s rating system.

“There are a lot of factors – a lot of initiatives out there now to keep people out of nursing homes,” said Keith Brown, the home’s administrator. “And with the increase in home care, we’re seeing a more frail resident population. So we have fewer residents, with higher acuity.”

The Simsbury home is not unique: Nearly a third of Connecticut’s nursing homes are less than 90 percent occupied, with Litchfield and Tolland counties bearing the highest vacancy rates, an analysis of state data shows.

The entire story can be seen here at the website of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team.

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