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Statistics Regarding Illinois Nursing Home Negligence Litigation
Numerous state, federal, and private agencies license, inspect, regulate, and certify Illinois nursing homes. Both Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are the leading regulators and inspectors that have overlapping regulatory jurisdictions. The IDPH ensures that nursing facilities comply with state regulations and CMS makes sure that nursing homes comply with federal law before they accept a Medicaid or Medicare payment. Unfortunately, problem still abound in the nursing care industry.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of nursing home abuse, mistreatment, or neglect and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients whose damages are the result of the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you or your loved one deserve. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Building a Case for Compensation
The following data provides helpful information regarding nursing homes that is often required for building a case for compensation:
- Illinois has over 1,000 nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
- Over 100,000 people reside in nursing homes across the state.
- Nursing homes are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
- Agencies regulating nursing homes receive tens of thousands of potential complaints every year, and many of those occur in Illinois.
- For a listing of Illinois nursing homes, click here: (https://ltc.dph.illinois.gov/webapp/LTCApp/ltc.jsp)
- For a listing of all nursing home violations, click here: (http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/nursing_home_violations/quarterlyreports.htm)
According to statistics, since 1995:
- There have been 253 nursing home cases in Illinois.
- Only ten cases recovered more than $5 million, or roughly 4% of the total lawsuits filed in the state.
- Forty-four cases recovered nothing at all or roughly 17%.
- Fifty-six lawsuits recovered an amount under $100,000, or roughly 22%.
- Approximately 115 lawsuits recovered an amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, or roughly 46%.
- Twenty-six cases recovered a monetary amount between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, or roughly 10%.
- The most popular counties for litigation included Cook (almost 50% of cases), Madison (nearly 10% of cases), Kane (nearly 10% of cases), and DuPage (about 5% of cases).
Federal Nursing Home Regulations
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that every nursing facility participating in Medicaid and Medicare caregiving maintain compliance with specific regulations and rules. Every facility must follow the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 that involve:
- The nursing home must provide care, activities, and services that help the resident maintain or attain the highest practicable physical, psychosocial, and mental well-being. This regulation mandates that every caregiver follows the resident's written Plan of Care.
- The nursing facility must provide a sufficient number of nursing staff members to ensure that all residents' medical care and hygiene needs are met.
- The nursing staff and medical doctors must perform an accurate, comprehensive assessment of the resident's health at admittance and at specified times about the year.
- The nursing home must provide every resident quality nutrition, hygiene, and grooming assistance, and other services for residents who are unable to perform duties alone.
- The nursing staff and medical team must ensure that every resident receives the correct medical treatment according to physician's orders and have access to medical devices to maintain their hearing in vision.
- The nursing staff and medical doctors must take appropriate measures to ensure that every resident does not develop pressure sores (bedsores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) and provide additional wound care to promote healing of existing sores.
- The administration and Director of Nursing must ensure that the facility provides adequate supervision that prevents residents from being injured.
- The nursing staff must ensure that every resident maintains their fluid intake to avoid dehydration.
- Every employee in the nursing facility must always protect each resident's dignity and respect of individuality.
Illinois Nursing Home Regulations
All nursing facilities in the state must follow the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to protect the health and well-being of each resident in the home. This means that every facility must take appropriate measures that include:
- Make sure that every resident's rights, privileges, and benefits are maintained according to the U.S. Constitution and Illinois State law while residing at the facility.
- Informed every newly admitted resident and their family members of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act and the Illinois Public Aid Code that outlines spousal impoverishment rights.
- Allow every resident to manage and control their personal financial affairs unless their affairs, health, and well-being is managed and controlled by a legal guardian.
- Permit every resident the opportunity to wear or use their personal belongings unless the doctor deems it to be medically improper.
- Provide each resident was sufficient storage to hold their personal belongings that are kept in a secured area but with easy accessibility by the resident any time they wished to retrieve these items.
- Protect every resident from an experimental treatment or research and protect access to others to the resident's medical records to be used in research studies without obtaining the resident's written approval.
- Make sure that every medical treatment provided to the resident is given under the order of the resident's doctor while the medical professional performing the treatment is supervised.
- Never restrained any resident by physical or chemical means to punish the resident or as a convenience to the nursing staff or the medical team. Recognize that all restraints can only be used when ordered by a doctor to follow state and federal regulations and documents why the restraint is necessary.
- Never administer unnecessary medications to any resident and instead respect their rights to be informed about every drug administered. Only medications that have been prescribed by a doctor can be given to the resident with their approval at any time.
- Protect every resident from abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
- Respect every right of the resident to have access to unimpeded communication through a visit, phone call, mail, or email.
- Protect every resident's funds and personal property held by the facility or contained in their storage unit or room.
- We routinely review every resident's plan of care to ensure they were receiving all the necessary treatments, medications, therapies, and assistance with their health and hygiene. Recognize that the plan of care must be updated routinely as outlined in state and federal regulations to ensure that the resident is receiving proper care for their immediate needs.
Nursing Home Violations
Four times a year, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issues a quarterly report of Nursing Home violations that are posted on the State agency's website. This information includes data accumulated through scheduled and unscheduled surveys, complaint investigation, and unannounced inspections. Surveyors categorize these nursing home violations into four classifications that include:
- Type AA – This is the most severe violation that has either led to the death of a resident or nearly killed the resident. This violation is the most egregious form of mistreatment against the Nursing Home Care Act of 1987. Type AA violations typically result in a monetary fine of $25,000-$50,000 or more for each incident.
- Type A – Any event that directly or indirectly caused physical or mental harm to a resident or was the probable cause of the resident's death is categorized as a Type A violation on the quarterly report of Nursing Home violators. Type A violations typically result in a monetary fine of $25,000 or less for each incident.
- Type B – These events likely caused physical or mental harm to the resident. Most type B violations result in a monetary penalty of $12,500 or less for every incident.
- Type C – This classification usually involves a less serious event that might not cause mental or physical harm but could eventually lead to harm occurring to the resident. Type C violations usually result in a monetary penalty of $5000 or less per event.
Choosing the Best Nursing Care in Illinois
Many families face the undesirable decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility when they are no longer able to live independently. However, selecting an alternative arrangement in a place that provides nursing care and hygiene assistance can be challenging. Usually, these decisions are made after a loved one has undergone a crisis, had surgery, or suffers a debilitating condition that can no longer be handled without the help of others. Families can choose from a variety of nursing care alternatives that include:
- Part-time assistance provided by a skilled nursing professional;
- Part-time services provided by a certified home health aide;
- Occupational, physical, and speech therapies provided at an off-site location outside of the home or nursing facility.
- The rental or purchase of medical equipment or supplies to assist in providing care to a loved one at home.
The skilled professionals usually provide assistive care with the loved one's hygiene needs including helping with bathing, toileting, feeding, cooking, house cleaning, and other activities.
Adult day care centers also provide an alternative option of placing a loved one in a nursing home. Adult day care facilities typically offer organized programs including health and social activities and therapeutic care to restore, maintain, or improve their loved one's health. Usually, the centers provide care to adults who have a mental, physical, or emotional functional impairment. Some families choose to place a loved one with adult day care services as a short-term solution before making the transition to a nursing home or assisted living center.
Escort and transportation services are also available for individuals who choose to stay at home instead of relocating to a nursing facility. Usually, the services are provided in small buses with drivers and other personnel who assist disabled and elderly individuals who are unable to transport themselves to the doctor's office, shopping center, church services, or other location without the use of private or public transportation.
Near the end of life, the family may choose to participate in a hospice program at home, or at a long-term care facility when their loved one is terminally ill. Usually, hospice care will help the individual control or alleviate their pain using medications ordered by the family physician. The services are offered on a part-time basis or 24/7, based on the resident's needs and the family's ability to pay for services.
Legal Representation to Protect the Loved One
The nursing home abuse injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that your loved one's injuries were not their fault but caused by the reckless actions of the negligent nursing team. We have successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage, and we can help your family too.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and nursing home and mistreatment injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.