Understaffed nursing homes face hefty fines under newly passed Illinois legislation


Illinois’ nursing homes would face significant penalties for short-staffing — and loved ones could more easily learn about it — under legislation passed by state lawmakers over the weekend.

The legislation mandates fines for nursing homes that don’t meet minimum staffing requirements already set out in Illinois law. The push for fines was prompted in part by a 2018 investigation by Kaiser Health News and the Tribune on the proliferation of deadly sepsis infections.

Sepsis is a bloodstream infection that can develop in bedridden patients with pneumonia, urinary tract infections and other conditions, such as pressure sores. Regulators and patient advocates blame much of the problem on lack of sufficient staffing to monitor everything from falls to bedsores and infections that can develop into sepsis, putting a patient’s life in danger.

Among those pushing for the legislation were AARP Illinois and the union that represents many nursing home workers, SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

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June 4, 2019 at 05:48PM

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