This morning members of the Illinois State House of Representatives will hear comment on a proposed amendment to the previous passed Illinois nursing home reform legislation that would essentially roll back all of the important changes made in that reform bill.
AARP advocates in Springfield reported on the move to amendment and change previous compromises related to Illinois nursing home law. The amendment would be a severe step backward in improving the care and treatment of our elderly loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
For example, among other things, the bill would suspend the hiring of more surveyors to help monitor the treatment at area nursing homes. It makes increased staffing at facilities no longer mandatory but instead hinged to a speculative “bed tax.” It stops a pilot project that examined the benefit of criminal background checks of residents. The amendment would also stop the creation of a “distressed facilities” list which helps consumers determine which homes are the worst of the worst.
On top of those changes, the amendment also rolls backs all fines to nursing homes issued for egregious care. On this blog we often report on some of those fines and citations issues when a facility has clearly violated the law and failed to provide adequate care to their residents. The fines were increased appropriately in the original nursing home reform law, but this amendment would essentially return those levels to exactly where they were before the reform measure.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti urge all those who are passionate about fair treatment for the elderly to take a moment and voice disapproval at this misguided amendment. It is vital that you contact your local state representative-particularly if they are on the House Rules Committee-to urge their rejection of this measure. The members include Reps: Currie, Schmitz, Lang, Leitch, and Mautino. Even if you local official is not on that list, they may be able to take steps to stop the amendment’s advance. Take a moment to call their office and let you voice be known.
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