Information compiled by the Illinois Nursing Home Task Force revealed that out of 407 complaints directed to administrators from 2005 through 2009, only three of the complaints resulted in discliplinary action. Obviously, the overwhelming majority of complaints directed towards nursing home adminsitrators– the effective heads of the operation— went without any action.
In Illinois and other states, nursing home administrators may be disciplined by state and federal authorities for a variety of legal infractions such as professional incompetence and violating Illinois‘ Nursing Home Care Act, which protect patients from emotional and physical harm.
According to Toby Edelman, an attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, “[l]ess than one percent is ridiculous. There should be more accountability on the part of the administrators.”
We will soon learn how serious state officials are with respect to holding administrators responsible for incidents involving safety violations at their facilities, when state officials decide the fate of Jamie L. Loyd. During Loyd’s tenure at Maplewood Care in Elgin, a young resident (with a criminal background) sexually abused an elderly patient. Officials cliam Loyd was careless when she failed to adequeately screen the young man prior to his admission to the facility.
While supporters of the nursing home lobby will argue that nursing home administrators should not be held accountable for the unforseeable acts committed by residents against other residents– which I strongly agree with.
The fact remains, that many situations involving abuse or injury stem from the fact that the administrators failed to supervise or intervene. Hopefully, we will see the numbers of administrators who are disciplined begin to rise and patient care will improve as well.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.
Few nursing home admins disciplined, Carla Johnson, The Associated Press