Nursing Home Section To Close
Officials of the Deaton Specialty Hospital and Home have decided to concentrate their resources entirely on caring for patients with chronic health needs. As a result, the facility will close its nursing home. Deaton officials notified the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other state agencies that a comprehensive relocation planning effort is underway to find appropriate alternative facilities for the 130 residents who remain in the nursing home section.
The 374-bed Deaton Specialty Hospital and Home currently cares for chronic care patients and nursing home residents. It is located at 601 S. Charles St. in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor.
"We see a need for additional chronic care services in this region," says James E. Ross, chief executive officer of Deaton Hospital. "We had to turn away more than 80 patients this year who needed chronic care. The nursing shortage makes it difficult to staff both the nursing home and the chronic hospital. Now that we have decided to focus Deatons resources on the chronic side, we will be able to help more patients," says Ross.
Deaton will redeploy the clinical staff, which includes nurses, nursing assistants, and therapists, from the nursing home to the chronic care side, where there is the greater patient demand and need for care. Deatons 180-bed chronic care specialty hospital treats people from throughout the region for a variety of complex medical needs. These include ventilator and traumatic brain injury care, as well as other types of specialty chronic care.
As is the case with many other nursing home facilities, the nursing home section of Deaton has not been able to operate in the black because the cost of providing complex medical care exceeds current reimbursement levels. An increased level of uncompensated care and rapidly rising nursing costs have also contributed to the unfavorable financial performance at the nursing home.
"We are working hard to ensure a smooth and orderly transition for the nursing home residents to other facilities," says Ross. "We are in the process of notifying all of the residents and their families and assessing the needs and preferences of each resident to make sure they are referred to appropriate facilities for their continuing care." Ross adds.
Deaton Hospital officials expect most of the nursing home's employees to be offered other positions at Deaton or at other hospitals within the University of Maryland Medical System.