The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 24, 2020 1:00 am

Local nursing home 8th in deaths

Bethlehem Woods listed as state releases specific data

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – One Fort Wayne nursing home is in the top 10 statewide for resident deaths, according to new data released by the Indiana health officials on COVID-19 cases in long-term-care facilities.

The Family and Social Services Administration for the first time late Wednesday made public facility-specific data for nursing homes. Before this, the agency only provided aggregate numbers.

And it appears that aggregate data was wrong.

Dr. Dan Rusyniak, chief medical officer for the Family and Social Services Administration, said the new data shows 1,390 resident deaths since the pandemic began in March. That was 128 more than what was listed on the state's COVID-19 dashboard. The state has now removed that information to use the newer, more accurate data.

In all, nursing home deaths account for 53% of the state's total coronavirus deaths.

Twelve staff members also have died but their deaths weren't assigned to specific facilities because it could jeopardize their privacy.

In all, 5,867 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and 2,532 staff have.

Fifty-six facilities around the state had double-digit resident deaths. The data released didn't include addresses, cities or counties and is difficult to analyze.

Bethlehem Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation, 4430 Elsdale Drive in Fort Wayne, ranked eighth highest, with 24 resident deaths. The top in the state was 38 at Harrison Terrace in Indianapolis.

Other area homes with significant numbers of resident deaths include:

• Lutheran Life Villages – 17 (no exact location given)

• Heritage Park in Fort Wayne – 15

• Lutheran Life Villages at Kendallville – 13

• Kingston Care Center of Fort Wayne – 11

• Aperion Care Fort Wayne – 5

• Englewood Health and Rehab in Fort Wayne – 5

“Our state's long term care communities, both nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have made every effort to comply with state and federal data reporting requirements and maintained communication daily with residents and resident representatives and will continue to do so,” said Zachary I. Cattell, president of the Indiana Health Care Association and Indiana Center for Assisted Living.

“We know the facility-level data that long-term-care communities are helping the Indiana State Department of Health collect and display will not just show the impact COVID-19 has had within our states' nursing homes and assisted living communities, but will also show the dedication of our health care professionals as they kept COVID-19 out of the vast majority of communities and helped residents recover from COVID-19.”

Not all facilities submitted data by the deadline, Rusyniak said.

Of 756 facilities, 83% have done so with 130 still outstanding. He noted that many of those have provided information in the past to the state but not in the new data format that is now required.

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