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Illinois Nursing Home May Lose Public Aid After State Inspection Finds Neglect

A recent state inspection of Alden Town Manor Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Cicero, Illinois revealed one resident who broke a wrist after a preventable fall, another with a pressure sore, and, finally, three more who had experienced unhealthy drops in weight. In December of 2007, the facility had been found to be in non-compliance with the laws that govern Medicare and Medicaid services, having six months to comply or have its public aid terminated. The six-month term is coming to an end and two weeks from now public aid services will no longer be available if the facility fails to become compliant. While termination of public aid is not necessarily a death knell for nursing homes, it is very detrimental as, on average, 90 percent of money for residents is provided by Medicaid. Facilities whose aid has been terminated have to turn to private funding, and existing solely on that is practically impossible. The original inspection came after complaints about two residents who had bed sores, a result of not being moved for a long period of time. This inspection led the Illinois Department of Public Health to give the nursing home a level 3 citation, on a scale of 1 to 4, 4 denoting such severity that a death has occurred or a resident is in danger of dying because of substandard care. In the most recent inspection, the resident who broke her wrist was known by the staff to be at risk for falls at the nursing home because of her behavioral history of wandering around the nursing home hallways and trying to move without the use of her wheelchair. It is not yet known whether the families of the victims will seek to file nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits against Alden.

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