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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Illinois Law Increases Access to Nursing Care Services

The Illinois Legislature recently adopted a law sponsored by State Representative Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago aimed at increasing home care services for senior citizens who might otherwise needlessly be placed in residential nursing homes. Illinois's Community Care Program (CCP) currently provides home-based services to approximately 85,000 elderly Illinois residents. According to the Lincoln Park Patch, the reforms focus on "implementing inter-agency data sharing, shifting to a managed care model for some seniors, applying for enhanced federal matching funds, improving Medicaid enrollment and processing, freezing rates at exiting levels, and implementing more stringent personnel policies."
The primary purpose of the new law is to provide the most cost-effective services to the greatest number of Illinois's elderly residents as possible.  Representative Feigenholtz explained, "Home care for senior citizens is one of the most cost-effective programs in the state of Illinois . . . . [T]he state can provide CCP for four seniors at the same cost of caring for one person in a nursing home."
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Michael Keating supports the Illinois Legislature's efforts to avoid placing senior citizens into residential nursing homes before such intensive care is reasonably required. Home health care has the obvious benefit of allowing individuals who are able to participate in their own care to do so in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, while also preventing individuals who require nursing home care from dealing with the burdens of overcrowding. As a nursing home's population increases, the quality of care provided to each individual resident almost inevitably decreases. In extreme cases, overcrowding and inadequate staffing can result in the neglect, or even abuse, of nursing home residents. Therefore, increasing the availability of home health care is not only cost effective but also increases the quality of care provided to elderly individuals living independently and in nursing homes.
If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Mike Keating at Keating Law Offices by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.