Nursing Home Injury Law

Illinois nursing home residents are protected by federal and Illinois state law. In 1987, Congress enacted legislation that required nursing homes who receive Medicare and Medicaid to conform to certain quality of care laws. This is known as the Nursing Home Reform Act. According to the Act here are some of the highlights of what nursing homes must make available for its residents:

  • Maintain a sufficient number of nursing staff (42 CFR §483.3)
  • The nursing home must make a full and accurate assessment of each entering resident as far as their ability to function. That includes dressing oneself, feeding oneself, mobility and other capacity issues. (42 CFR §483.20)
  • Each resident must have a care plan that is specific to them. (42 CFR §483.20)
  • In situations where a nursing home resident is unable to take care of themselves for daily living, including maintaining nutrition, grooming and hygiene, the nursing home must provide these services. (42 CFR §483.25)
  • Supervise nursing home residents so that those infirm do not develop pressure sores or bed sores or have skin infections and to prevent bed sores in those residents who are unable to move adequately. (42 CFR §483.25)
  • The nursing home must take all reasonable precautions to insure that its residents have the necessary devices to prevent falls and other accidents. (42 CFR §483.25)
  • Nursing home must make sure that its residents receive and manage nutritious meals for each resident. (42 CFR §483.25)
  • Nursing homes are required to maintain complete clinical charts and medical records of each resident of its facilities. (42 CFR §483.75)
  • Each resident should have sufficient fluids for hydration and overall health. (42 CFR §483.25)

There are other federal rules that are required in nursing homes.

Nursing home residents in Illinois have the advantage that the federal law must be complied with as well as by the Illinois statute on aging. 320 ILCS 20/1, et. seq. This is called the Adult Protective Services Act that was adopted and amended from time to time through July 1, 2013.

Included in this Illinois law are definitions including “abuse”, which means any physical, mental or sexual injury to an eligible adult, including exploitation of such adult’s financial resources.

Illinois law also has enacted the Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA), 210 ILCS 45/1-113. Under this act, the terms “facility” and “long-term care facility” are used in the same context for purposes of enforcement and application under this act. Included are skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities. This act was made law because widespread concern that nursing facilities were providing less than adequate treatment of its residents and patients. The purpose of the act was to use it as a tool to enforce the law that requires nursing home facilities to provide quality, safe and appropriate care to its residents. Under the Nursing Home Care Act, the Illinois Department of Public Health acts to oversee the enforcement and compliance, including the requirement for periodic inspections of all Illinois licensed nursing home and long-term care facilities.

Of the basic requirements under Illinois’ NHCA is the facility plan. Each nursing home must substantially comply with all requirements of health, safety and care required or faces a penalty. In extreme cases, the nursing home facility would lose its license and be required close unless compliance were obtained. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health has been granted the authority under the NHCA to write its own rules, regulations and procedures related to long-term facilities. Included are nursing and intermediate care facilities.

Federal and state laws are designed to protect and preserve the health and integrity of Illinois nursing home residents who often are the subject of abuse from many possible fronts. Abuse can be in the form of neglect or financial misconduct by nursing home facilities and its staff.

The statistics associated with nursing homes around the country are eye-opening. This website is informative and comprehensive. It importantly shows clearly the growth of America’s elderly and where this growing demographic is and will be housed in the future.

If a loved one has been injured or harmed in a nursing home, contact Kreisman Law Offices 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. We are here to assist you and your family so that responsible parties are held accountable for the injuries or death to individuals injured in nursing homes. With more than 40 years of experience in trying and settling nursing home cases in Illinois, we have the know-how to best handle your case. Our service is unmatched.