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Illinois Nursing Home Inspections Stun State Officials

Top state officials who recently visited Illinois nursing homes said that they were stunned and disappointed by the conditions at some facilities. They described grim institutions crowded with large numbers of mentally ill residents who wandered aimlessly without proper treatment. Department of Human Services Assistant Secretary Grace Hou stated that it was an eye-opening experience. Other officials publicly questioned whether some of the mentally ill people had medical conditions that were serious enough to justify their placement in a nursing home. One Illinois nursing home had close to 80 percent of residents who were mentally ill, but facility administrators had labeled their mental illness as a secondary diagnosis. This becomes an issue because under current Medicaid rules, the federal government stops reimbursing the state for care at nursing homes when they fill more than half their beds with residents who are exclusively mentally ill. It has become evident that housing the elderly with mentally ill patients leads to nursing home abuse. The number of elderly rapes, assaults and deaths goes up greatly. To learn more about the recent inspection, check out the link.