Money is tight everywhere these days, including in the budget of the State of Illinois. Unfortunately, this budget squeeze could have an effect on some of the most vulnerable people in our state: residents of nursing homes. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently ran an article on Illinois state budget cuts across the board, but one particular paragraph caught my eye:
In Illinois, State Comptroller Dan Hynes’ office recently announced the state is roughly $4 billion behind in paying nursing homes, state contractors and others, with a roughly 12-week backlog, because cash flow into state coffers has slowed.
Earlier in the article, a representative of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is quoted saying the state owes his organization — alone — nearly $9 million in reimbursements that have not been paid. Without that funding, organizations like nursing homes, hospitals and other human services will have to cut services.
Why does this matter to a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer? Because the evidence suggests that funding is an important factor in the quality of care provided by a nursing home or other assisted living facility. Studies show that staffing levels, especially the number of registered nurses at the facility, have an effect on quality of care. And of course, a well-trained staff is relatively expensive. When there are more duties than there are staffers to perform them, tasks are more likely to be forgotten, delayed or intentionally ignored, and staff is more likely to turn over quickly.
All of this spells trouble for the residents of nursing homes. Even well-meaning staffers can forget things if they’re truly overwhelmed, leading to nursing home neglect. Staffers who are not so well-meaning can use the lack of oversight in a busy facility to steal from residents, over-medicate them, ignore their needs or worse — all forms of nursing home abuse. The elderly, disabled and vulnerable in Illinois deserve better. Our Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys help victims of neglect, physical abuse, financial exploitation and other abuses at Illinois nursing homes. To speak with us about your own case, you can contact us through our Web site or call (312) 475-9596.