Lawyer Resources for Illinois

Law Firm Representing Injured Residents of Wentworth Rehab and Health Care Center

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Illinois routinely conduct unscheduled surveys and unannounced investigations to inspect every nursing facility statewide. Their efforts identify serious violations, deficiencies, hazardous conditions and health violations. When surveyors identify serious concerns, the facility has the opportunity to make corrections promptly to maintain the health and well-being of every resident.

In serious cases, the Medicare and Medicaid nursing home regulatory agencies will designate the Home a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and add the Center to the national watch list. This undesirable designation means that the facility must undergo many more inspections and surveys every year to determine that any corrective actions taken to improve the level of care in taking care of the residents is permanent.

Lawyers Representing Injured Timber Creek Rehab and Health Care Center Residents

At least twice every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state nursing home regulators conduct unscheduled surveys on every nursing home in Illinois. These intensive inspections are used to identify problems, deficiencies, and serious regulatory violations. Also, the surveyors conduct unannounced investigations to respond to formal complaints filed by residents, visitors and employees at the facility.

When serious deficiencies are identified, the nursing home may receive a fine and guidance on how to correct the problems promptly to ensure the residents’ health and well-being are protected and maintained. In some cases, the violations are so egregious or harmful to the resident that the nursing home is placed on a Federal watchlist and designated as a Special Focus Facility (SFF).

Jacksonville Illinois Nursing Home Makes Unfortunately List of Worst Facilities

Every nursing facility in the United States must undergo traditional recertification surveys performed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state agencies. When the agencies are alerted to consistently poor performance by nursing staff members and administrators, the agency utilizes progressive enforcement solutions for improving the quality of care provided to the residents. The nursing home has the opportunity to make quick improvements and develop new and effective policies and procedures to ensure they maintain the higher standard of care.

If the facility is unable to change their performance of substandard care to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents, CMS and the state of Illinois may choose to terminate their contract with the nursing home in providing care to Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Low Staff Numbers in Nursing HomesA fierce battle has been waged in the Illinois legislature over the last two years over whether nursing homes should be required to maintain minimum staff levels. Senate bill 2840 addresses whether or not facilities should be required to maintain certain numbers of nurses on their staff— the current bill requires ten percent of the care patients receive to come from fully trained registered nurses as opposed to a mixture of registered nurses and practical nurses.

Critics of the bill argue that the bill does not serve its purpose and that the required number of registered nurses should be higher. Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk, a move that has many people up in arms and accusing him of allowing for-profit nursing home companies to influence regulation.

The Need for Accountability

Criminal Charges in Nursing HomesEmployees at nursing homes widely abuse the elderly. However, the financial abuse is rarely ever talked about. There are not many statistical reports that give insight into the amount of financial abuse Americans aged 65 or older face at nursing homes. These elderly are the people admitted to nursing homes by family members because the elderly cannot take of themselves and the family cannot help them. They are in the care of the nursing home employees, who are mostly licensed nurses and medical assistants. Due to the disabilities and diseases that ails the elderly, they are unable to report any incidences of financial abuse or otherwise.

How Do Nursing Home Employees Abuse Residents Financially?

The employees at nursing homes financially abuse residents all over America through many ways. One of the most popular methods is to overcharge residents for services that they did not require, services that were never offered or by stealing medication that the residents may not have needed. The last method explicitly falls under drug abuse and it is administered under the local state departments. Many of the state departments have warned for-profit and licensed nursing homes to administer the drug use in their premises. However, in many cases, the administrators of such for-profit nursing homes are involved in drug abuse. The State Health Department also asks anyone aware of such financial or drug abuse to consider it their mandatory duty to report such incidents on behalf of the state.

Inferior Care Leads to Fines in Nursing HomesIt seems like a broken record, but the problems with patient care in Illinois nursing homes persist. One need look only to the recently published listing of quarterly nursing home violations from the first quarter of 2012 published by the Illinois Department Of Public Health (IDPH) to see that there are pervasive problems in nursing homes within the state. From Springfield to Chicago, the IDPH conducts both annual surveys and responds to complaints filed by patients and families. All told, when reviewing the quarterly list, the following facts jump from the list of the quarterly violations.

  • Total number of facilities cited: 87
  • Total amount fined = $737,700

Reporting Elder AbuseKeeping senior citizens safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility, especially the professionals who work with them on a daily basis. Elder abuse is a horrible crime and it happens way more than people realize. Not only should anyone who works with the elderly who suspects or witnesses elder abuse, report it, in Illinois it is actually a law.

Elder abuse is thought to happen to about 76,000 elderly people every year, however, only about 10,000 reports are made each year. Much of this abuse may happen the home or even in nursing homes but victims are too scared or ashamed to report the abuse. That is why it is so important that anyone who works with the elderly and suspects there may be abuse, reports it to authorities.

Elder Abuse And Neglect Act

Client Reviews

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric