San Francisco, CA — According to a recent survey, Illinois ranks third amongst states regarding the number of times federal officials suspended payments to homes over serious deficiencies.
According to the federal data that was compiled by ProPublica, which works as an independent nonprofit investigative news organization, the Illinois homes had payments for Medicare and/or Medicaid suspended 91 times at 78 homes.
The suspension of funding is taken when deficiencies at a facility reach such levels that regulators are forced to press for immediate improvements.
Illinois showed up in two other categories in the survey: The among of average fine, as well as number of serious deficiencies per home. The state was near the middle of the pack on a national level.
The Illinois department of Public Health often conducts surveys of nursing homes that are under the contract of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Facilities are rated from an A-through-L scale. A grade of L notes the most egregious of deficiencies. Illinois, D was the most commonly used faring by a wide marking.
Deficiencies that garner a J, K, or L denote an “immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety.” J is often used for an isolated case, while K often denotes the deficiency lay in part of a pattern. L is used when the occurrence is regular and widespread.
Among the over 750 homes in Illinois, 155 were cited for a J, K, or L deficiency in the previous three years. The average number of deficiencies that were noted as ‘serious’ were found at 0.44 per home.
Illinois amassed a $2.43 million in fines that were levied against just under 200 homes. The average fined levied was $6,031. The penalties ranged from a $80,160 fine to a Chicago nursing home with 53 deficiencies, to 23 deficiencies that totaled $650 in fines for a Peoria home.
The state health department declined an interview, but issued a statement on its behalf.
“Illinois has historically had one of the strongest surveying programs in the country, often conducting more surveys than other states to ensure facilities are following both state and federal regulations to protect the health and safety of residents,” the agency said in a written statement.
Fred Frankel, who works as an attorney for a Fairview Car Center of Joliet, which garnered 82 deficiencies, released a statement regarding the reflection on the home from such levies.
“All the deficiencies have been corrected,” Frankel said. “The state has come in and verified those corrections. … There were issues caused by turnover in staff, morale and functioning, and we have done our best to address it.”
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