Articles Posted in Chicago Nursing Homes

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nursing home neglect

Skilled Care Falls Short While Nursing Home Costs Continue to Rise

While there has been a general slowing of individuals dependent on nursing home care from nearly 86 percent in 2012 to less than 82 percent in 2017, as life expectancy continues to increase in the U.S. and seniors account for a higher proportion of the population, demand for the services provided by nursing facilities will increase and no doubtingly, costs will follow suit. But supported and efficient services have failed to align and it’s our nation’s most vulnerable people and their families, as well as care staff, who pay the real price. So, who is to blame?

Third-party payors and private entities who haphazardly increase the costs of healthcare services without providing quality care of professional and skilled nurses and staff look guilty. Employing staff and pushing up labor costs only leads to widespread budget increases and less fattening of private facility pockets, but shortages can ironically do the same. Meanwhile, nursing home administrators blame behind the market reimbursement rates of patients on ‘traditional” Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare patients to Medicare Advantage (MA) patients to cause the industry to suffer and negatively profit, demanding them to raise general daily costs to residents and families or cut short in areas such as infrastructure and staffing quality workers.

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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are responsible for the majority of care provided in nursing homes. AARP says “The job of a CNA can be difficult and hazardous. CNAs have demanding workloads and are often responsible for manually lifting and turning residents, which can cause lower back injuries. They can also be exposed to infections, diseases (such as tuberculosis), and physical violence from residents.”

Many of these nursing assistants are working incredibly long hours and multiple days in a row, pushing them into overtime. For many reasons, this already exhausting and demanding job is made even more so.

We’d like to share a current snapshot of the nursing assistant industry:

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nursing home infections

Painful Infections Remain Untreated When Chicago’s Nursing Homes are Understaffed

The Chicago Tribune recently published a scathing article on the inadequate measures taken by a Chicago nursing home to prevent a resident’s bedsores from turning into deadly infections. The story featured the negligence and wrongful death claims of an 85-year-old resident at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on the city’s North Side. Family members of the resident told reporters that the facility’s staff never spoke of the “seriousness of the pressure sore, which led to sepsis, a severe infection that can quickly turn deadly if not cared for properly.”

Complications related to pressure sores often require intravenous antibiotics and sensitive care treatments to treat bloodstream infections and can result in painful surgeries to cut away dead skin around the wound. According to health officials, there are four types of infections that are often linked with sepsis including: lungs (pneumonia), kidney (urinary tract infection), skin (pressure wounds and bedsores) and gut. Out of the 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents who are hospitalized with sepsis each year, 1 in 5 won’t survive.

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skilled care

Recognizing When Residents May Require Skilled Care vs. Nursing Home Support

When a family is seeking support and viable care options for an elderly loved one, the first step to choosing the right place may be attempting to understand the types of support the long-term care industry offers. Skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a nursing home are terms widely used to describe a residential facility that provides on-site 24-hour care, but the type of care and support may differ depending on staff, managed medical standards, and a confusing overlap of services. In fact, some nursing homes may offer skilled nursing care in a particular wing of the facility but not to every resident, including your loved one. In addition, nursing homes and SNFs may be regulated and certified differently at each facility and the level of staff certification may vary leaving questionable concerns for those in charge of placing a loved one into the hands of a long-term care facility of any type.

Skilled Nursing Facilities Provide Additional Services and Medical Staff

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Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an organization committed to providing resources and information to promote healthy aging, has released their searchable data files on staffing hours for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers across the country for the first quarter of 2018.

The lists are divided by state, and the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Chicago’s Levin & Perconti have reviewed the data for Illinois to find out the best and worst staffed facilities in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, and Will Counties. Staffing, as most elder advocates know, is considered one of the largest contributing factors to nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to Nursing Home Compare, the ratings website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

Illinois Average National Average
RN Per Resident/Day 47 minutes 40 minutes
Total Licensed Nurse Per Resident/Day (LPN/LVN + RN time) 1h 25 minutes 1h 33 minutes
Nurse Aide (CNA) Per Resident/Day 2h 2 minutes 2h 18 minutes

The data compiled by CMS and LTCCC shows that the best Illinois nursing homes and rehab facilities are beating the state and national averages for RN time per resident/per day, but that the worst are falling so far short that one Cook County nursing home averaged ZERO hours per resident a day.

Levin and Perconti also found that every nursing home that rated the worst in terms of staff hours per resident/day were for profit facilities. Our blog has extensively covered the driving force behind minimal staffing. It nearly always comes down to money.

Our findings are separated by county, as well as by role, examining the best and worst facilities in terms of RN time per resident/day, as well as total direct care staffing per resident/day. In their data compilations, LTCCC defines direct care roles as RNs, LPNs, and CNAs.


Average RN Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County

  • Cook County: Top 10 in RN hours are hospitals. There is a tie for nursing facilities.
    • Best – Alden Estates of Skokie (25 residents, for profit) and Terraces at the Clare (Chicago, 46 residents, for profit) both average 1.7 hours per resident/day.
    • Worst – Southview Manor Nursing Center (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 183 residents
      • 0 hrs per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Marianjoy Rehab Hospital (Wheaton)
      • Non profit
      • 26 residents
      • 2.4 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – West Chicago Terrace (West Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 107 residents
      • .2 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Greenfields of Geneva
      • Non profit
      • 41 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – North Aurora Care Center
      • For profit
      • 105 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Lake Forest Place (Lake Forest)
      • Non profit
      • 50 residents
      • 1.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – The Grove at The Lake (Zion)
      • For profit
      • 170 residents
      • .3 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Shorewood
      •  For profit
      • 35 residents
      • 2.3 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Aperion Care Wilmington
      • For profit
      • 158 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/per day


Average Total Direct Care Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County (RN, LPN, CNA)

  • Cook County:
    • Best – Rush Oak Park Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Unit
      • Non profit
      • 16 patients
      • 6.6 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Parkshore Estates Nursing & Rehab (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 228 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Franciscan Village (Lemont)
      • Non profit
      • 58 residents
      • 7.1 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Wynscape Health & Rehab (Wheaton)
      • For profit
      • 120 residents
      • 1.3 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Waterford (Aurora)
      • For profit
      • 17 residents
      • 7.0 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – River View Rehab Center (Elgin)
      • For profit
      • 175 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Radford Green (Lincolnshire)
      • For profit
      • 75 residents
      • 1.5 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Claridge Healthcare Center (Lake Bluff)
      • For profit
      • 102 residents
      • 2.1 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Victorian Village Health & Wellness Center (Homer Glen)
      • Non profit
      • 45 residents
      • 5.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Joliet Terrace Nursing Center
      • For Profit
      • 113 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day

 

Let Levin & Perconti Help You
Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence. We have successfully litigated and settled abuse and neglect cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois.

If you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or complete our online case evaluation form.

 

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nursing home abuse

There Are Several Ways to File a Complaint Against an Illinois Nursing Home

With more than 1,200 long-term care facilities serving over 100,000 residents with all types of medical issues, Illinois facilities licensed, regulated and inspected by the Illinois Department of Public Health are open for review and often subject to complaints. Rightful complaints are evaluated under the state’s Nursing Home Care Act. The Department’s 24-hour a day Nursing Home Hotline receives nearly 19,000 calls a year.

IDPH investigates quality of care issues, such as allegations of actual or potential harm to patients, patient rights, infection control, and medication errors. The Department also investigates allegations or harm or potential harm due to an unsafe physical (building) environment. Here is a list of the most common complaints.

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prescription drugs

How Nursing Homes Should Handle Dangerous Prescription Drug Recalls

While most families worry about the misuse of their loved one’s prescription drugs while they are living in a nursing home, a new medication issue is presenting itself across America. In 2017, the American Medical Association released a report showing that many drugs the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves are involved in some kind of recall or safety event after being released to consumers. Nursing home and long-term care residents are especially at risk of taking recalled or defective drugs because not all recalls are announced by the FDA or reported in the news media. When a public announcement is not made, notification is typically made by communication from the drug manufacturer to a nursing home resident who may not be reachable or cognitive. A nursing home pharmacist or lead medical staff should be in the know of any recalled medications, remove any faulted drugs from the stock cabinet and help provide an alternative plan alongside a nursing home patient’s treating physician to prevent unnecessary sickness or injury.

Understanding Drug Recalls

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nursing home abuse and neglect

Aperion Care Capitol Nurse Was Never Trained on Feeding Tube Placement

According to a state report filed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Aperion Care Capitol, a 251-bed skilled-care facility and nursing home located at 555 W. Carpenter St. was fined for “failing to ensure there were appropriately trained staff to reinsert a feeding tube” that fell out while two nursing assistants were haphazardly removing the patient’s T-shirt.

According to the March 2018 report:

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The latest quarterly report on Illinois nursing home violations is in and the number of Type AA and Type A violations has increased since the first quarter of 2018.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) Second Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators includes some repeat offenders from quarter 1, as well as one facility that received a $50,000 fine for a Type AA violation for the second time this year.

According to IDPH, Type AA violations are given when a nursing home has a “condition or occurrence at the facility that proximately caused a resident’s death.” Type A violations are situations “in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.” IDPH defines Type B Violations as those that would likely cause mental or physical harm to a resident.

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The Elder Justice Coalition is reacting to a July 7th New York Times article that outlined just how extensively nursing homes have hidden low staffing numbers. The advocacy group is calling for an immediate congressional review of staffing practices within nursing homes.


Actual Payroll Data Reveals Staffing Crisis

The article, investigated and published in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, was based off a review of payroll hours submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  The actual hours made news not only because they show a serious crisis in terms of resident to staff ratios, but also because up until recently, nursing homes had supplied their own staffing data to CMS. With the new payroll-based submission process, nursing homes have no ability to fudge numbers.