Many Illinois Nursing Homes may soon be stepping upon some new wealth under a recently devised tax-plan that that is intended to provide for an increase in the number of state nursing home surveyors and increased staff at troubled facilities. By taking advantage of a Federal Government matching-fund program, the program is expected to provide $145 million in new funding for nursing homes in Illinois.
According to a report on the program in The Republic, Illinois officials have allocated $20 million for purposes of hiring 160 new nursing home surveyors and the balance of the funds will be put towards the state’s Medicaid program for indigent nursing home patients.
Because much of the funding provided the program is derived from taxes on daily nursing home rates paid by non-Medicare patients, some critics view the program as little more than a tax on the wealthy to distribute funds to facilities that primarily care for the poor.
As a nursing home lawyer, I can certainly appreciate these the re-allocation-of-funds arguments as directed to the increase in funds allotted to Medicaid facilities. However, I think that the substantial boost in the number of nursing home surveyors across the state will be beneficial for all nursing home patients in Illinois. Hopefully, the influx of nursing home surveyors will allow incidents involving patient injury and abuse to be properly investigated in a timely manner so the responsible parties can be properly identified.
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