Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Illinois Law to Shine Light on Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

On Friday Gov. Quinn signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. This new law creates Section 3-808.5 which will shine light onto incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois by requiring more reporting of incidents by the nursing home and providing information regarding how to report abuse and neglect.

Section 3-808.5: "Nursing Home Fraud, Abuse, and Neglect Prevention and Reporting" will require the following of Nursing Homes:
  1. To display information in the lobby, on each floor, and in the dining hall information on how to report incidents of fraud, abuse and neglect to the Illinois Medicare Fraud Unit.
  2. To provide information at the time of admission to each resident and/or their family members/emergency contacts information on how to reports incidents of fraud, abuse and neglect to the Illinois Medicare Fraud Unit.
  3. Owners and Licensees of Nursing Homes are required to keep documentation on their compliance with the new disclosure requirements.
  4. Any report of abuse and neglect that is made to the Administrator, Director of Nursing or person with "management authority" (presumably someone like a supervising nurse, Assistant DON, etc.) must be disclosed to the owners and licensee of the nursing home within 24 hours. The nursing home must also keep records of this reporting.
  5. All owners of Nursing Homes must disclose their ownership interest to the Illinois Department of Public Health within 30 days of July 30, 2010.
  6. Any owner that fails to meet these disclosure requirements could be found guilty of a Misdemeanor, but further failures could result in a Class 4 Felony.
  7. Any owner who files false information could be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.
If you have any questions regarding this post, please contact Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike Keating is a former staff attorney for the Judiciary I - Civil Law Committee at the Illinois House of Representatives and currently prosecutes Civil Actions on behalf of nursing home residents and their families.