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Nursing Home Safety Bill Provides Promise Of Improved Care In Illinois

Picture-513Last week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that promises to improve care of nursing home patients throughout the state.

Though many of the details need to be hammered out, the new legislation will hopefully eradicate many of the recurring problems patients face such as: violence, recurring episodes of neglect and inconsistent care.

Among the highlights of the new nursing home legislation include:

  • Hiring new nursing home inspectors in an effort to reach a ratio of one inspector per every 500 patient beds
  • Increased criminal background checks and psychological screenings of nursing home patients
  • Creation of alternative housing arrangements for patients with psychological issues, but who are physically capable
  • Increased staffing levels at facilities

How will Illinois pay for this increased regulation?

Despite Illinois‘ headline-grabbing budget woes, the stiffened regulations will be funded from a combination of increased license fees and reducing the number of psychiatric patients in nursing homes.  Moving psychiatric patients to smaller, group-homes– with less staff oversight promises to reduce the states current expenses on this current portion of nursing home residents.

Despite, critics claims that this new legislation is merely the governments efforts to appease public outcry for tightened nursing home care, I firmly believe these new efforts will ultimately improve patient care.  At the very least, these new regulations bring these issues to the attention of nursing home patients and their families.  As I have witnessed, the more attention these issues receive, the more attuned to patient care families will be.

Read more about this new nursing home legislation here.

For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.


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