Hey everybody - Jenn here from the Communications team keeping you in the loop on what's up in Springfield this week. Let's talk nursing home reform...
In 2010 the Illinois General Assembly passed landmark legislation to improve the quality of care in Illinois nursing homes. (WOOHOO!) Among other elements, the new law addressed staffing ratios in nursing homes. Studies have shown that staffing ratios play a vital role in the quality of care nursing home residents receive, particularly when it comes to direct care provided by registered nurses. (Is anyone else having a "no duh" moment here)? A recent article in the Chicago Tribune shed light on some of the issues resulting from understaffing in a Humboldt Park Facility. Workers at the Center Home for Hispanic Elderly say they have complained for months about low staffing and a shortage of adult diapers, gloves and other critical supplies.
A study commissioned by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that residents should receive at least 45 minutes of care each day by a registered nurse. This position is also supported by AARP.
The legislative body responsible for developing the rules established by the nursing home reform law (the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules - JCAR) had a chance to vote on those rules on Tuesday, March 6. They decided to delay that vote for about a month (boo) but that gives you more time to contact them and let them know that minimum staffing requirements are a good idea for Illinois nursing home residents. Here is the contact info for those who sit on the JCAR committee.
Minimum staffing levels are critical to ensuring quality care in Illinois nursing homes. Contact the JCAR members TODAY!
For up to the minute updates on this issue we've been having some great discussion on our Facebook page if you'd like to join in and share your thoughts. Our staff expert on this issue is David Vinkler and you can follow his tweets live from the Statehouse.
Photo Credit to Flickr's LongitudeLatitude