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.
A number of factors go into calculating the cost of nursing home long-term care including location, provider, coverage, length of stay and whether any type of special rehabilitation services will be required.
- S. nursing home rates run $6,844 per month for semi-private care.
- In Illinois, the same care costs around $5,688 per month.
Substandard Staffing Remains Stagnant
It’s alarming but not surprising to find out that most nursing homes actually have fewer nurses and support staff than they report. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers continue to work on many cases where understaffing or poorly paid staff created an easy environment for residents to become neglected, abused and mistreated. Unfortunately, we have learned, in a drive to lower expenses and increase profits for owners and investors, those in charge of making decisions about staffing often cut corners at dangerous levels.
For example, in 2017, nursing assistants earned an average of just $13.23 an hour for leading the stressful load related to caring for a nursing home population. The poor pay rates just make it more difficult for qualified help to make a living and for a home to retain good care workers for longer periods of times. As costs change, sustainability to manage gaps in long-term health care need to be set in place by each individual facility for patient needs to continue to be met.
Report Issues and Speak with a Lawyer
At Levin & Perconti, we recognize the frustrated, overworked and underpaid care workers who ultimately save lives by speaking up and reporting violations of the law, rules, or regulations regarding the care and treatment of nursing home residents in their charge. We frequently have care workers contacting our attorneys to share concerns or report violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. If an employer retaliates against an employee in violation of the Nursing Home Care Act, the affected employee may bring a civil action against the employer for multiple types of relief.
Consultations with our attorneys are both free and confidential. Please call us at (312) 332-2872 or complete our free online consultation request form.