Illinois Nursing Homes

Illinois has 746 nursing homes. Undoubtedly as the population of the state ages and grows so will the number of registered and licensed nursing homes. The website, has an enormous amount of information on nursing homes as well as many other features on medical facilities as well. The nursing home data collected by the U.S. government is in the public domain for all to see and consider. Permission is not required to view the many comparison data on nursing homes. This information could be enormously valuable for families and individuals thinking about a particular kind of facility for a particular person who specialized needs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a significant source of this data.

One of the many features found on the website are the comparable nursing home information. That is Illinois nursing homes are compared to the local nursing and then to the national average for any of many areas. Comparisons are made in overall ratings, staffing, inspections, quality measures and penalties to mention a few.

The Nursing Home Compare piece for website’s review of nursing homes is done with stars. The more stars that are shown for a category, the better is the possibility that the nursing home has serviced its residents effectively and safely. The star ratings are done as a public service. This rating system is not designed as all-inclusive, but is to be taken as would any data sources be analyzed.

For example, if one were considering a Chicago nursing home close to the family of the potential resident, one could search by zip code on this website and be directed to numerous neighborhood nursing facilities. Then the family and individual could examine the several nursing facilities on its ratings that are most important to the needs of the person. So if this potential resident is suffering from a temporary, but disabling illness or injury, then a nursing home that excels in physical therapy and rates high on staffing may be a good choice to begin the search for the right placement.

On the other hand, if the resident-to be is wheelchair-bound, has a disabling breathing issue or an assortment of other mobility or eating health issues, the nursing home that would present itself as one for a permanent residency would be the one to be examined, researched and visited the most.

The nursing home’s star rating in one area may not be so stellar in another. So a nursing home could have a much above average overall rating but not score as high on staffing which is most important. The staffing scale is measured on the minutes a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse’s aide, physical therapist or occupational therapist spends with each resident, each day.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) health inspection database includes the nursing home characteristics and health deficiencies issued during the 3 most recent state inspections and recent complaint investigations.” In Illinois, the Department of Health and Human Services is the overseer of Illinois’ 746 nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The inspection of an Illinois nursing home may come about naturally, about every 18 months, randomly or because of a registered complaint. The data about staffing and penalties made against nursing homes comes from the CMS database.

The data available for quality measures of nursing homes comes from the national database known as the Minimum Data Set (MDS). At regular intervals nursing homes conduct an assessment on every resident in a Medicare- or Medicaid-certified facility. In reviewing just the Chicago area nursing homes, one would find that most of these facilities are Medicare and Medicaid certified. The MDS data is a collection of information on a resident’s health, physical functioning, mental status and general well-being. This information is reported by the nursing homes. With residents being admitted and discharged frequently, there is no way to be certain that the data collected is totally accurate and up to date. Therefore, the data must be scrutinized carefully knowing that the reporting is in flux.

The current data collected is noted for both short-stay residents and long-stay residents. The dates of the data vary as do the percentages that are logged here. The quality measures include improvements in function, residents that were re-hospitalized after a nursing home admission, residents who have had an outpatient emergency department visit, residents successfully discharged to home, residents who developed pressure ulcers that were new or worsened and those residents who were appropriately vaccinated for flu and pneumonia. There are other categories including one logging those residents who had fallen and were injured.

For considering a nursing home or researching the quality of a nursing home, the website is an excellent resource.