Proposal by Sen. Kissel to Ensure Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities are Heard During Receivership Proceedings Passes Senate Unanimously

May 9, 2019

HARTFORD – Today, State Senator John A. Kissel (R-07) applauded the State Senate’s unanimous passage of SB 1088, An Act Concerning Participation by a Resident of a Nursing Home Facility or Residential Care Home in a Receivership Proceeding. The bill aims to give nursing home residents a voice during receivership proceedings. The legislation was developed to address serious concerns raised following the closure of Blair Manor, a nursing home facility in Enfield, CT.

“I really appreciate the help of the Judiciary Committee leadership and the willingness of advocates and the Departments of Rehabilitation and Social Services who worked with me to provide for this important opportunity for residents or their guardians to make their voices heard,” said Senator Kissel. “There was significant confusion among the residents, families, and advocates of Blair Manor during the receivership proceedings and when they were not given an opportunity to make their voices heard, they and their families came to me to say this just wasn’t fair.”

When Blair Manor, a nursing home facility in Enfield, CT was closed in 2017 there was significant confusion among the residents, their families, and their advocates about when and how they could make their voices heard.

In October 2017, the assigned receiver of Blair Manor recommended that the facility be closed due to overwhelming revenue losses and an inability to continue to operate. Before the receivership proceedings, residents were notified they would be able to have their voices heard. However, during the court proceeding, the presiding judge refused to allow residents to speak, as was her prerogative, given they were not parties in the case.

After closure of the facility, 18 former residents passed away within six months. Experts maintain that transfer trauma likely played a role in their deaths.

SB 1088 now contains substitute language, negotiated between Senator Kissel, the Judiciary Committee leaders, the nursing home community and the long-term care ombudsperson that requires residents be given a chance to speak during a receivership proceeding. The substitute language eliminates notification requirements already included in current law.

“We know, as legislators, that we don’t get everything we want in a public hearing. But there is value in that free flow of ideas and I wanted to work on behalf of my constituents to give them the peace of mind that, no matter what happened, families and advocates were able to do all they could to protect their loved ones. I think that’s critically important,” said Sen. Kissel.

“I would also like to thank Carol Conlon and George Stevens for their great advocacy and for helping me get this bill through to this point. I rely on folks like Carol & George to bring issues like this to my attention and to be partners in my effort to pass this kind of legislation, and I am happy to see this moving forward.”

SB 1088 was passed unanimously by the Judiciary Committee and passed unanimously on the consent calendar during the May 8th, 2019 Senate Session.