Federal and state rules provide mandates and guidelines that Illinois nursing homes must comply with to get paid. Unfortunately, even though these regulations are fairly clear and straightforward, a recent study reported Illinois as ranking 42 out of 50 states in complying with them.
This ranking shows that Illinois nursing homes have a long way to go with regard to meeting minimum legal standards and taking proper care of their residents.
Federal and State Mandates for Nursing Home Operators
There are a handful of federal and state statutes that provide the foundation for the care nursing home residents can expect to receive. Those statutes are:
- Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987: Also referred to as OBRA 1987, the federal Nursing Home Reform Act is a series of rules and guidelines that help keep residents safe. This is the first time the national government took steps to make sweeping changes to the way nursing homes cared for their residents, including introducing new standards for quality of care. To learn more about the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act, visit our OBRA information page.
- Illinois Nursing Home Care Act: This act takes OBRA 1987 regulations and adds additional minimum requirements of care. It also institutes a resident’s bill of rights. The Nursing Home Care Act is now the main regulation ruling all long term care facilities in Illinois.
- Elder Abuse and Neglect Act: The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act offers definitions and provides penalties for nursing home care providers that harm their residents.
- Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act: This act places particular focus on mandatory reporters of suspected abuse and neglect and provides additional protection for reporters and victims of abuse.
- Power of Attorney Act: The Power of Attorney Act emphasizes protections for elderly individuals who are at risk of financial exploitation.
To learn more about Illinois nursing home laws, the Nursing Home Reform Act or where to report nursing home abuse in Illinois, reach out to our knowledgeable legal team. We can help you understand what your loved one’s treatment should look like and evaluate whether you may have a valid claim if the home is not following the required regulations.
Why Compliance With Nursing Home Regulations Matters
As stated above, nursing homes care about compliance because they know they cannot otherwise get Medicare or Medicaid payments. You and your loved one should care even more, however, as the nursing home laws and rules that the state and federal government created came about due to reports of shockingly poor care that long-term care facilities provided to their residents.
These regulations are in place to provide a foundation for quality care and dignity. So if nursing home administrators fail to meet the minimum standards laid out by law, they are consequently failing to provide the necessary quality of care your loved one deserves.
What Is the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act?
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45) came into force in 2011 in response to troubling reports of abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state. This legislation is important for several reasons:
- It created a resident’s bill of rights.
- It built upon the enforcement powers of agencies such as the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- It set a base skill level and required training for nurses, assistants and technicians.
- It provided loved ones and community groups with policing powers to ensure nursing homes are providing the mandatory quality of care.
This act is now the main legislation governing care and treatment in nursing homes. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is in charge of enforcement.
The Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act Explained
The purpose of the Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act (210 ILCS 30) is to increase protections for victims of abuse and neglect and for any person who makes a report of suspected abuse. The Act also lengthened the list of mandatory reporters and laid out a strict timeline that individuals and investigators must follow when making and following up on a report.
What Is The Power of Attorney Act?
Across the United States, approximately seven percent of nursing home residents and 15 percent of board-and-care facility residents fall victim to financial exploitation each year. Those numbers are highly indicative of what is occurring in Illinois nursing homes.
The new Power of Attorney Act (755 ILCS 45) of 2011 took steps to lower this number. This act increased protection against the potential financial abuse or exploitation of vulnerable adults such as the elderly. It set in place new standards of care for the agent (the person who was granted the power of attorney) and expanded on remedies in instances of abuse.
What Is The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act?
The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act (320 ILCS 20) created the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program. The act also provides base definitions for elder abuse and neglect, and governs any such action that occurs in a nursing home, assisted living facility and in-home care setting. The agency in charge of overseeing this act and providing related services is the Illinois Department of Aging.