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Nursing Home Resident’s Advocates Vow to Stop Illinois Bill

Advocates for nursing home residents hope that they will be able to stop the progress of a bill in the Illinois General Assembly which is designed to allow state regulators to refund fines paid by nursing homes planning to use the money to improve care. The bill, Senate Bill 321, would return money after a nursing home may have been cited for elderly abuse or neglect. Director of Chicago-based Illinois Citizens for Better Care, Wendy Meltzer, stated that this bill would be really bad public policy because it essentially eliminates the financial disincentive for bad behavior. Although the bill’s sponsor believes that the bill is a way of ensuring that problems at nursing homes get fixed, money could be returned even in the cases of elderly rape or wrongful death. The bill highlights the idea that Illinois has become too focused on fines against nursing homes instead of good care. Meltzer pointed out that nursing homes shouldn’t need refunds as an incentive to provide the kind of care that is required by Illinois state law. Last year the bill’s sponsor received $15,000 in campaign contributions from the nursing home industry. To read more about Senate Bill 321, please click the link.