Report Proves Illinois Could Do Better at Investigating Nursing Home Complaints
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report in 2017 that showed several states, including Illinois, were missing the opportunity to lead a timely investigation of the most pressing nursing home complaints. These complaints included neglectful occurrences such as residents being left to sit in their urine and feces for hours, residents being admitted to the hospital because of preventable infections, and inappropriate social media posts by nursing home employees.
According to the OIG, these events will typically fall into two types of serious complaint categories that must be addressed within a specified timeframe.
- Immediate jeopardy complaintsallege a situation that indicates that there continues to be an immediate risk of serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident. State survey agencies are required to start an on-site investigation within two business days of receipt of complaint or incidence report.
- Non-Immediate Jeopardy – High (High Priority) complaintsallege a situation in which the provider’s non-compliance with one or more Federal requirements may have caused harm that negatively impacts the individual’s mental, physical, and/or psychosocial status and are of such consequence to the person’s well-being that a rapid response by the State survey agency is indicated. State survey agencies must initiate an on-site survey within ten business days of prioritization.
Review the Interactive Complaint Trend Map
Recently, the OIG published an interactive map that shows nursing home complaint trends between 2011 and 2015 as a supplement to the group’s 2017 conclusions.
- The new interactive map updates information for years 2016 through 2018.
- It displays details on nursing home complaint trends for each state, including Illinois.
- It includes the number of complaints received and the number of the most serious allegations that a state investigated late.
In Illinois, the number of complaints per 1,000 nursing home residents increased from 35.1 in 2012 to 65.6 in 2016. Perhaps the most dramatic jump noted just 1,112 high priority complaints in 2012 to a whopping 3,065 in 2016. Of those recorded in 2016, 33 high priority complaints went left unattended within the ten-day on-site investigative window.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relies upon a survey agency to initiate the nursing home complaint process as a way to identify trends at troublesome facilities. State agencies must respond to health and safety concerns raised by residents, their families, and nursing home staff within the certain timeframes to help prevent further harm. Any ignored complaints or those untimely addressed undermines the role CMS plays in regulating facilities, but it also desensitizes, disrespects and removes the rights of the most vulnerable population of sick and aging Americans.
Request Legal Help If Your Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Complaint Was Ignored
The attorneys of Levin & Perconti have secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year. Let our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys put more than 150 years of combined experience in successfully fighting Illinois nursing homes to work for you.
If you suspect a complaint stemmed from neglect or abuse at your loved one’s Illinois nursing home has not been addressed, contact the attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417 or by completing our online case evaluation form for a free consultation.