It is well-established that many cases of Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect are the result of facilities that cut corners in order to maximize profits. When providing the highest quality care runs counter to increasing the financial benefit of owners, nursing home residents often lose. That is why it is particularly distressing to stories about area facilities that claim to face financial challenges.
The Journal Pilot discussed the issue earlier this week. Illinois budget shortfalls are making payments late for these homes-placing them in tough financial straits. Medicaid issues are a large part of the problem. Most facilities have the majority of their residents on Medicaid, but state payments for those patients lags three to six months behind the service. Facility administrators claim that the percentage of patients in the home on Medicaid is increasing.
Administrators claim that current Medicaid reimbursement rates are only 65-75% of the actual cost of care. One home chief explains that it averages $135 to care for a patient each day, but the facility only receives $87 per day from public coffers.
Financial challenges have actually been positive for some area seniors, as it has forced a reevaluation of alternative options. At-home care, assisted living apartments, and mixed modes of living are now more prevalent than ever. Innovative alternatives to lengthy hospital and nursing home stays are being advanced to save money and improve the well-being of seniors
Our Illinois nursing home lawyers understand the unique mix of state and private actors that are involved in providing care to seniors. The budget activities decided in our state capitol of Springfield have ramifications down the line to each individual resident of area nursing homes. That is why advocacy efforts for our seniors must focus on both ensuring proper care as well as ensuring our lawmakers consider the effect of their budget decisions on this vulnerable population.
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