New Illinois Law Addresses Nursing Home Funding

 Posted on June 02, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

Chicago Personal Injury LawyerOn May 31, Governor Pritzker signed a new bill into law that will reform nursing homes around the state and tie their funding to performance measures and staffing levels. It also provides funding for increased pay for nursing home staff. The bill is partly a response to chronic staffing shortages in nursing homes that were only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also trying to better address the care of residents in nursing homes.

More Funding for Nursing Homes, Nurses

The reforms in the bill provide for increased funding tied to staffing levels, new pay for certified nursing assistants, and connects funding to improved quality of care. The legislation adopts the federal Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which helps nursing homes to better shape their care to reflect the needs of residents, prevents fraudulent billing, and promotes full disclosure of nursing home ownership. The disclosure portion is tied to a trend of private equity funds buying nursing homes and being linked to lower-quality care.

There are approximately 65,000 nursing home residents in Illinois, 45,000 of whom are enrolled in Medicaid. Currently, annual funding of $2.5 billion in state and federal funds goes through the Illinois Department of Public Health to the facilities housing the 45,000 nursing home residents dependent on Medicaid. Through this bill, an additional $700 million will be directed to nursing homes through a combination of additional federal Medicaid funds, a revised nursing home assessment tax, and Illinois general revenue funds. By law, the assessment tax is not allowed to be passed on to residents.

The new funding will help provide pay increases and additional staffing at nursing homes. The nursing home industry lost nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to already understaffed facilities. The new funding will provide for increased pay based on tenure and job levels, including for certified nursing assistants. Nursing homes would be incentivized to increase their staffing levels up to certain target levels.

The legislation is set to go into effect on July 1, pending federal approval.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

A nursing home should be a place of compassionate care. If your loved one has suffered neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse in a nursing home, you need to contact Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys can provide skilled counsel for victims of nursing home abuse and work to rectify the situation and ensure your family receives the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 312-236-6324 for a free consultation.



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