In the last quarter of 2017, the Illinois Department of Public Health initiated action or recommended decertification for a number of residential care facilities and nursing homes across the state for violations connected to patient care. When nursing homes repeatedly violate standards set forth by both state and federal agencies, they can be decertified and lose the ability to operate.
Oversight of Nursing Homes in Illinois
Nursing homes in Illinois are required to be licensed and certified by a variety of private entities as well as state and federal agencies. The Illinois Department of Public Health has the primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with state-mandated regulations. The agency conducts roughly 1,300 on-site inspections of nursing homes and residential care facilities each year. It also investigates approximately 6,000 complaints annually. Nursing homes are also subject to oversight from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Illinois Department of Public Health initiated action or recommended decertification for nearly 50 nursing homes and residential care facilities in the final quarter of 2017. Actions taken include the issuance of fines and the decertification of facilities that were found to be in repeated violation of high-risk care standards. These fines and facility closures help protect patients from undue harm and the untoward actions of unscrupulous care providers. When the state issues a fine or recommends decertification, the facility provider has the right to appeal at which point the state can choose to affirm the penalty, reduce the fine, or reach another form of settlement with the offending nursing home.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has the option of requiring Illinois nursing homes to correct deficiencies. They have the authority to issue provisional licenses that allow care providers to correct the specified deficiency and remain in operation. In these situations, nursing homes are required to present a plan of corrective action to the state within 10 days. At the federal level, most violations are required to be addressed and corrected within a 30 to 60 days window. In some cases, the state may direct the specific action which must be taken. The state reserves the right to suspend fines or other penalties based upon the facilities compliance with recommended corrective measures.