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Yesterday we shared information on the latest report available from the Illinois Department of Public Health on the State of Long-Term Care in Illinois. The report is far from perfect, but all those concerned about the care for seniors and those with disabilities in our state are well served by taking a look at the full research effort. It is helpful to identify trends and get a feel for the various issues that are affecting the industry, from staffing rates to reported instances of neglect.
In our previous post we discussed the steady total level of long-term care facilities, IDPH employee levels, and basic neglect and abuse trends. Some other interesting details to pull from the report include:
–The report indicates various citations issued to facilities. There are several types of citations, “A,” “Repeat A,” “B,” and “Repeat B.” These refer to the supposed severity of the problem at the facility and whether or not it is an on-going issue. The statistics on this front are somewhat interesting. For example, in 2007 there were 177 “Type A” violations issued–the more severe type of care problem. The following year, the same total dropped to 97. And then in 2009 the Type A violations count rose significantly to 214.
What is responsible for this yo-yo effect? It seems unlikely that the average quality of care at long-term care facilities would improve suddenly in 2008 and then deteriortae rapidly in 2009. Instead, the change is likely attributable to changes in inspection protocols and enforcement routines which increased the liklihood of a facility facing a citation in 2009 as opposed to 2008. In other words, the actual care received by residents on a daily basis over this time was unlikely to change. Understanding these sorts of issues is crucial to not reading too much into the year over year statistics on this front.
–The “Type B” violations followed the same trend over these three years: decreasing in 2008 and then jumping significantly in the following year.
–Interestingly, there are few instances of repeat cititations. There were 7 Repeat B violations and 2 Repeat A violations in 2007. In 2008 there were zero repeat citations issued. The following year, in 2009, those rose to 3 and 1 respectively. Either facilities are very quick to improve care permanently after being issued a citation or they are quick to show improvemet for regulators before slipping back into old practices. It is hard to make definitive judgmennts on these issues from the information provided in this report.
–Notwithstanding the total number of citations issues, the report makes clear that a violation resulting in a permanent loss of license is rare. For example, in 2007 only 3 facilities were denied a license after a violation. There was 1 denial or revocation in 2008, and 3 again in 2009.
–Beyond the numbers, the report also includes helpful summaries of the review and monitoring process for the regulatory agency. They detail how the law allows them to issue fines, seek denial of licenses, and other tools to ensure proper care is being received by all those in these care settings.
If you or someone you know may not have recieved proper care in a nurisng home in Chicago or throughout Illinois. Please take a moment to contact our office to see how we can help. Our team of attorneys works with families throughout the state who have suffered falls, developed bedsores, faced a resident-on-resident attack or any number of other issues at a long-term care facility.
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