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Resident’s Advocates Discuss Nursing Home Legislation

The Illinois State Journal Register discussed both the pros and cons of the new nursing home legislation proposed in Illinois, Senate Bill 314. Some, like the executive director of Nursing Home Monitors, believe that the nursing home legislation would weaken an already lax regulatory system by allowing the state to forgive certain fines against nursing homes that promise to use the money for correcting deficiencies. Others, like Wendy Meltzer, the director of Chicago-based Citizens for Better Care, believe that the bill would make it harder for nursing homes to negotiate a reduction in fines. This is due to the work of Meltzer to insert language that made reductions of fines off limits if those fines were connected with harm to residents. The nursing home industry agreed with the changes to the original nursing home legislation because the state was focusing too much on high fines against nursing homes and not enough on helping facilities provide good care. Currently, the bill is awaiting Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s signature. To read more about the nursing home legislation, please click the link.