Conn. Nursing Home Operator Files for Bankruptcy, $27 Million in Debt

Connecticut-based Spectrum Healthcare, which operates six nursing homes in the state, has filed for bankruptcy protection in an effort to eliminate some of its $27 million of debt and reduce operating costs, reports the Hartford Courant.

Despite the filing, the operator plans to keep all of its facilities in operation during the restructuring. 

Filing for bankruptcy protection gives the company a time-out on paying some of its bills while it comes up with a plan for a more financially sustainable operation.

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Spectrum owns nursing homes in Hartford, Manchester, Derby, Torrington, Ansonia and Winsted.

The filing is the latest sign of the financial pressures faced by nursing homes in Connecticut, where it is estimated that facilities could need as much as $90,155 a year to care for a resident, according to the trade group for 150 of the facilities.

Seven other nursing homes have entered bankruptcy in the past five years, and two of those either closed or are closing

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The state and federal government pay most nursing home bills, with 69 percent covered through Medicaid, and 15 percent of patients, in for short-term rehabilitation stays, through Medicare.

On average, the state pays Spectrum $87,902.95 a year for its Medicaid patients, higher than the state average of a little more than $83,000.

Because nursing home care is so costly, and because many people would prefer to stay in their homes as long as they can, the state allows Medicaid money to pay for home health care services, a program called “money follows the person.”

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In its bankruptcy filing, Spectrum said that policy has meant people are delaying entry into nursing homes, and said that is one reason occupancy is dropping. According to the state, in July, 619 of Spectrum’s 716-bed capacity was in use, for an occupancy rate of 86.5 percent.

The operator’s 2011 revenues of $67.3 million were not enough to cover all of its expenses, as Spectrum lost nearly $1.7 million that year, according to its bankruptcy filing. 

Read the full story at the Hartford Courant.

Written by Alyssa Gerace