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Staffing Rates Suffer Even as Nursing Homes Seek Additional Funding

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home understaffing attorneysHeadline-making stories regarding nursing home neglect and understaffing are tragically common. Residents may have a serious fall, choke on food, or miss their medication because of critical understaffing issues. The staff who are available are chronically underpaid and overworked, leading to exhaustion and sometimes fatal mistakes. 

No-Strings Attached Funding

Recent Illinois news coverage has focused on requests for an increased amount of state funding for private nursing homes. But at the same time as the Health Care Council of Illinois (HCCI) has asked for $486 million dollars, they have made it clear they want it with no strings attached. The primary lobby group for for-profit nursing facilities opposes legislation from Governor Pritzker’s administration allocating at least some of that money on hiring more staff and eliminating ward-style rooming, where many patients can share the same room. 

Investigations Show Multiple Problems

Journalists covering the blight of poor care in nursing homes have expressed concern over the industry’s myriad failures: Failure in transparency and accountability in how public funds are put to use, failure to hire enough staff, failure to reduce hazardous overcrowding. In fact, in 2019, Illinois ranked last in nursing home staffing. These problems tend to be exacerbated for Black and Hispanic residents. 

Even as nursing homes plead for more funding, investigations show that for-profit nursing homes still make donations to lawmakers and hide their profits by paying themselves enormous fees via real estate companies and vendors that the owners of the nursing homes control. 

What Can You do?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, or are considering relocating a family member to a nursing home, you have good reason to be concerned about the potential hazards. Even as you might hope that legislation and state and federal funding efforts would improve nursing home circumstances, better outcomes are not guaranteed. 

The most important thing you can do to protect your loved one is to keep a close eye on the conditions at their facility. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help you understand whether any concerning conditions amount to neglect.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

If you believe that understaffing in your loved one’s nursing home has led to negligent behavior, the law firm of Schwartz Injury Law can help you hold the nursing home accountable. We have extensive experience helping victims of nursing home abuse and their loved ones get financial relief and peace of mind. Contact our Chicago nursing home negligence lawyers today at 312-535-4625 for a free and confidential consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.wbez.org/stories/for-profit-nursing-homes-seek-yet-more-illinois-funds-while-fighting-staffing-requirements/5ad32f9d-e1dc-4341-b7cd-dd904a622c53

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/5/19/22444446/illinois-nursing-home-abuses-pandemic

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ILCS/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1222&ChapterID=21

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