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AARP Urges House Committee to Reject Changes to Nursing Homes Law

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 General News J E 4
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Amendment to Senate Bill 2147 Would Endanger Residents, Set Back Landmark Reforms

Statement from AARP Illinois Senior Advocacy Manager Nancy Nelson

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- "Last year the General Assembly passed a bill, and the Governor signed it into law, that created landmark reforms in the way in which for-profit nursing homes operate in Illinois extending critical protections for thousands of nursing home residents.

"These reforms, and the people they protect, are now at risk if an amendment introduced to Senate Bill 2147 passes out of the House Executive Committee.

"Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 2147 would roll back the existing nursing homes law by:

  • Suspending the hiring of additional surveyors;
  • Suspending a pilot project on expanded criminal background checks;
  • Reducing the fines for wrongful deaths and injuries occurring in institutions;
  • Eliminating the list of worst nursing homes in Illinois;
  • Delaying staffing increases at a time when Illinois still holds the lowest level in the nation for staff to patient ratios;
  • Requiring the State to do its own study on improving staffing ratios, instead of relying on already existing federal research.

"These changes would send Illinois back to the previous status quo, where residents at many for-profit nursing homes were the victims of gross abuse and neglect: the very same conditions that led to scathing media exposes and eventually to reform legislation that was agreed upon by the nursing home industry, advocacy organizations, legislators, and the administration.

"On behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members, AARP is urging the members of the House Executive Committee to reject this repeal of the law. Nursing home residents must reside in the safe, protected and fully staffed environments they deserve."

SOURCE AARP Illinois

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