On Feb. 27, 2019, registered nurses in Illinois, with support of National Nurses United, began lobbying lawmakers in support of a mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratio. Currently, California is the only state with mandatory nurse staffing ratios established for acute care, acute psychiatric and specialty hospitals. The Illinois proposal would mimic California’s design but also mandate minimum staffing standards in long term acute-care hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Although this is not new news for Illinois nurses and their 15-year fight for better staffing ratios, the union continues to rally for the mandate citing that patient health is compromised because too few nurses must care for too many patients.
“Mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios save lives,” said Talisa Harden, a registered nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine in a union published news release. “As nurses, we’ve always known it, and now there is a robust body of peer-reviewed literature that proves it. Illinois patients deserve safe and therapeutic care no matter where they are admitted. This bill will make all Illinois patients safer.”
Nursing Homes May Be Deceptive in Staff-to-Patient Ratio Reporting
Studies by the Institute of Medicine found that understaffing has a suffering effect on patients and other care staff. For example, many qualified nurses refuse to work in nursing homes because of the poor working conditions prevalent in overworked and understaffed facilities. In July of 2018, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency tasked with regulating nursing homes, updated rules for nursing home staffing levels and how employee hours are being reported. The new rule now punishes nursing homes who go more than seven days in a quarter without a Registered Nurse (RN) on site. Nursing homes who go more than seven days per quarter without an RN on site will automatically receive just one (out of five) stars for staffing on the Nursing Home Compare website designed to rank the care provided at thousands of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes across the U.S.
Levin & Perconti: Chicago’s Legal Voice for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
If someone you love has been the victim of abuse or neglect due to understaffing or a poor staff-to-patient ratio in a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other long or short-term care facility, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti want to help you. Our attorneys have nearly three decades of experience in successfully bringing healthcare and nursing home systems to task for failing patients.
With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, our attorneys are committed to bringing justice to families whose loved ones have been harmed by understaffed healthcare facilities. Please, contact us now for a FREE consultation at 312-332-2872 in Chicago, toll-free at 1-877-374-1417, or by completing our online case evaluation form.