Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

The Nursing Home Care Act is a law in Illinois that protects the rights, and helps to ensure the safety, of residents of long-term care facilities. It addresses matters regarding abuse, neglect, privacy, self-determination, spousal impoverishment, pre-admission screening, vaccinations, discharge/transfer, complaint procedures, investigation processes, alternative remedial options (i.e. right to file a lawsuit), and facility reporting requirements, to name a few. While the act applies to both non-profit and for-profit nursing homes, it only covers those facilities considered by law to be a “long-term care facility,” defined as:

‘a private home, institution, building, residence, or any other place…which provides through ownership or management, personal care, sheltered care or nursing for three or more persons, not related to the applicant or facility owner by blood or marriage. It includes skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities as those terms are defined in Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Federal Social Security Act. It also includes homes, institutions, or other places operated under the authority of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.’

The Act does NOT apply to:

  • Facilities operated by the State or Federal Government
  • Hospitals
  • Child Care Facilities
  • Community Living Facilities
  • Community Residential Alternative Facilities
  • Home/Sanatorium relying solely on spiritual means/prayer for treatment
  • Community-Integrated Living Arrangement Facilities
  • Supportive Living facilities
  • Assisted Living or Shared Housing Facilities
  • Mental Health Care Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Other facilities excluded by the Act

One of the most significant components of the Act is the section pertaining to ‘Resident Rights,’ the essence of which assures that persons living in long-term care facilities will maintain the same rights, as they would outside the facility, as a member of larger community. Under the act, nursing homes must provide residents with a written explanation of the right they are entitled to, either at the time of admission, or within two days thereafter. To read more on this topic, seeResident Rights in Nursing Homes.’

An equally important component of the Act is the section regarding ‘Responsibilities,’ which outlines the duties, obligations, requirements, and procedures that long-term care facilities must adhere to in dealing with financial matters; resident screening; criminal history; contract execution/renewal; advisory councils and advisory board; patient confidentiality; public disclosures; next-of-kin notifications; resident notifications; facility occupancy; staff training; vaccinations; identified offenders; and record-keeping.

Article III of the Act is entitled ‘Licensing, Enforcement, Violations, Penalties and Remedies.’ It outlines the processes and procedures associated with dealing with suspected or confirmed incidents of the abuse or neglect of a resident, as well as issues involving regulatory violations. This section can also provide guidance in choosing a nursing home, such as compliance with licensing requirements, and minimum facility standards (physical and sanitary conditions; number and qualifications of all personal; equipment; dietary needs; habilitation and rehabilitation programs; accommodations; evacuation and safety plans; financial resources, etc.).

Long-term care facilities in Illinois have an obligation to adhere to the provisions set forth under the Nursing Home Care Act. If you believe a facility is currently violating the Act, or may have in the past, it is important to understand what legal rights, options, and remedies are available under the law to address the issue(s). When a violation causes harm to a resident, whether physical or otherwise, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for damages sustained as result of the facility’s wrongdoing.

As advocates to the victims of nursing home abuse & negligence, we urge you to take immediate action following an incident, or upon discovering a potential problem with the facility. By doing so, you are not only protecting the rights and well-being of yourself or a loved one, but you are also helping ensure the safety of all residents living under that facility’s care.

If you have a question, concern, or issue with an Illinois nursing home, the Chicago Injury Lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. want to assist you in attaining the resolution and justice you or your loved one deserve. Give us a call at 773-516-4100, or contact us online, to discuss your matter confidentially, and at no initial cost to you.

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