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A Lake County nursing home as been cited as one of the worst performing skilled nursing homes in the country, the Post Tribune reported. The facility is owned by Illinois nursing home operator Eric Rothner and a family of companies owned or controlled by his family. They also own Northlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Merrillville, which was closed earlier this month. He and his family own shares in nearly two dozen nursing homes in four states, including South Shore Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Chicago, which also has been cited for poor performance. Chicago nursing home neglect cases have continued to make news in the wake of a series of raids and investigative media reports that have outlined a host of issues. As we reported on our Illinois Nursing home Abuse Lawyer Blog, state lawmakers recently passed an overhaul of the state system, which awaits the governor’s signature. Sebo’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobart has been added to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services list of poorly performing nursing homes. The Special Focus Facilities list includes homes that have demonstrated a pattern of severe quality and patient safety problems over a period of years. A spokesman for Evanston, Illinois-based Extended Care Clinical, the parent company, said there was nobody available to comment. The problems at the Sebo’s home date back to at least 1999. The home received 16 substantiated complaints from state inspectors between 2007 and 2009. Substandard quality of care designations were made in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office conducted a sweep at a Jacksonville nursing home on Monday, looking for violations of state laws and regulations, the State Journal-Register reported. As our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys reported earlier this month on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, three arrests were made at a similar raid in Chicago last month. Fourteen police and state officials participated in the Jacksonville raid, which was the 11th conducted in recent weeks — and the first to occur outside the Chicago area. However, unlike previous sweeps, authorities didn’t check for outstanding warrants among the facility’s residents. The state continues to struggle with dangerous felons in Chicago nursing homes. A staff member of the Attorney General’s Office declined to say why residents weren’t checked for arrest warrants, nor would she comment about why the 113-bed Golden Moments Senior Care Center was chosen for the raid. No one was arrested and not citations were issued during the three-hour inspection. However, risk-assessments, mandated by law, were not completed for several residents. One of the home’s owners cited a backlog at the state level as the reason for the lack of assessments in place on three residents. The home was fined $50,000 earlier this year for poor care in connection with the October death of a 74-year-old resident who choked on his food. The nursing home is contesting the amount of the fine. Illinois Nursing Home Resources If you are faced with the tough decision of admitting a loved one into a nursing home or elder care facility, the Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes want you to know there are resources available to help you with your decision. Click here for advice on finding an Illinois nursing home through the Illinois Department of Public […]

State lawmakers have passed a historic nursing home reform bill and sent it to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature, despite the protests of nursing home lobbyists who had fought measures to increase staffing in Illinois nursing homes, the Chicago Tribune reported. Advocates say it is the biggest step taken in decades to reduce the risks of Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect as well as abuse in neglect in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities throughout Illinois.The bill became one step closer to reality after passing out of the state legislature following tense eleventh-hour negotiations. The Tribune, which has conducted a number of exhaustive investigations detailing Illinois’ ailing nursing home system, called it “a historic bill that aims to undo a half-century of failed policies and end a legacy of violence in which nursing home residents were raped, assaulted and murdered.” As we reported on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, the industry fought reform even as evidence continued to mount that mentally ill felons being housed in nursing homes and inadequate staffing levels have led to a host of dangerous conditions. The Tribune reports the sides reached some agreement in the 159-page bill; the governor’s top health care advisor, Michael Gelder, was hugged by both the industry’s top lobbyist and one of its toughest critics after the proposed law passed out of the House with a 118-0 vote. “It sends a very clear message that nursing homes are going to provide high-quality care, and they’re not going to be dominated by individuals who have put profit ahead of the care and needs of their residents,” Gelder said. The measure would enhance criminal background checks and psychological evaluations of incoming residents and separate dangerous patients from residents by placing them in secure wards. It would also require a significant […]

The nursing home industry is quietly fighting a proposal by Gov. Pat Quinn that would raise minimum staffing levels in Illinois nursing homes, despite evidence that more staffing provides better care and improves resident’s health, CBS2 reported. The Associated Press reports that talks among lawmakers, nursing home officials and elder care advocates are scheduled to resume this week in Springfield but getting the industry to agree to increase staffing levels appears to be unlikely. National studies continue to show more care-hours leads to improved health, fewer bed sores and less unexplained weight loss among residents. Advocates also contend it could lead to higher-quality staff and less turnover among nursing home employees. Currently, Illinois requires nursing homes to provide at least 2.5 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Those rules require about 31 certified nurse aides and licensed nurses per 100 residents. Quinn is pushing to increase the minimum to 4.1 hours by 2014 for residents who need skilled care and 2.8 hours for those who require intermediate care. Some homes already meet those standards, while others do not. Industry executives have said that facilities relying upon Medicaid could not afford to hire more people to meet the proposed requirements. The governor’s proposal would also toughen oversight and raise fees and fines for nursing homes. As we reported earlier this year on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer blog, state officials have been scrambling to respond to a host of media reports and investigations outlining assaults, rapes and murders in Illinois nursing homes. The new proposals are part of the outcome of a special task force convened by Quinn last year. The task force heard testimony about inadequate staffing, particularly at facilities serving poor and minority residents. The across-the-board staffing increases are opposed by the Health Care Council of […]

State and local law enforcement made three arrests after raiding a South Side nursing home in search of wanted criminals on Tuesday, the Chicago Breaking News Center reported. As we reported recently on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer blog, officials are moving to correct issues of Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect after a series of reports detailing instances of assault, rape and other abuse by mentally ill patients and convicted felons, who are either living or working in area nursing homes. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan led the raid on Presidential Pavilion, 8001 S. Western Ave., as part of a series of unannounced visits and safety checks being conducted at nursing facilities that house convicted felons. The home was the 10th facility to be checked; 14 warrants were issued to wanted felons — the largest number issued at any Illinois facility. The state reports 20 residents were living at the home with a total of 950 arrests and 399 convictions. Authorities issued a total of 54 warrants in the other nine facilities and arrested 14 people. “We’re going to continue with these unannounced compliance checks in nursing homes throughout the state,” Madigan told the media during an interview outside the building. “Nursing home operators I’m sure at this point are on red alert that we could be showing up any morning.” The home’s owners control 28 nursing facilities in Illinois and Florida. An attorney for the owners defended them, saying he was unaware of any complaints of abuse or neglect of the home’s residents. Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to draft legislation to improve Illinois nursing home care. Gov. Pat Quinn’s Nursing Home Task Force has made 38 recommendations for overhauling the state’s troubled long-term-care program. Currently, Illinois nursing homes house 3,000 residents with felony records, including younger psychiatric patients.

Authorities are moving forward with proposals aimed at improving safety and reducing instances of neglect and abuse in Chicago nursing homes and nursing facilities elsewhere in Illinois. The Chicago Tribune reports that 48th Ward. Ald. Mary Ann Smith introduced several proposals last week that would strengthen inspections of Chicago nursing homes, enhance enforcement and penalties and require nursing homes to provide more details to the public regarding their financial and safety records. As reported recently on Abels & Annes’ Illinois Nursing Home Abuse blog, the state moved to close a Chicago nursing home amid neglect and abuse allegations. Meanwhile, the Tribune reports 1 in 4 sexual assaults in Chicago nursing homes go unreported or uninvestigated amid large numbers of convicted felons being housed in nursing homes in Illinois. Smith’s proposal will now be considered by City Council’s Health Committee before being taken up by the full council. Meanwhile the office of Gov. Pat Quinn has announced it will introduce legislation aimed at implementing the recommendations of the governor’s Nursing Home Safety Task Force. The task force was formed in response to an investigative report by the Tribune, which examined reports of rapes, attacks and murders in nursing facilities that house elderly residents alongside violent offenders. Among the proposals made by the task force are tightening background checks on new residents, increasing staffing and toughening sanctions against facilities with chronic safety issues. The task force has also recommended moving thousands of mentally ill residents into smaller settings with better treatment options. Some lawmakers are concerned the reforms will not go far enough and have announced a separate proposal with the backing of a number of influential groups, including the AARP, Illinois Citizens for Better Care, and the trial lawyers association.

The federal government moved to close Somerset Place on Friday, a troubled Chicago nursing home accused of abuse and neglect of residents, according to the Breaking News Center. The government moved to terminate funding for the nursing home in Uptown, contending in court filings that violence, abuse and mistreatment put “the health and safety of … residents in immediate jeopardy.” Authorities report it has been four years since a a federal termination order has been issued for a Chicago nursing home. Four Illinois nursing homes have been de-certified because of problems since 2005 — those homes have been sold or closed. The action follows a report by the Chicago Tribune, which identified 66 of the 300 residents as convicted felons with mental illness. The century-old former hotel was home to a chaotic environment of poorly-supervised residents who bit and punched each other, turned over tables and tested positive for drugs, according to federal inspection reports. Former staff members told investigators that the Chicago nursing home was understaffed and its caseworkers were poorly trained. Somerset officials filed an emergency civil lawsuit in an attempt to stop the government action but were denied by a federal judge on Friday. The home will receive Medicaid funding for another 30 days and may stay open while it tries to re-enter the Medicaid system or sell to a new owner. One of the owners, who has a stake in a dozen Illinois nursing homes, declined to comment to the press. The nursing home is one of the largest in the state and reported a profit last year of almost $2.3 million. Chicago police investigated 15 alleged assault and batteries inside the home between April 2008 and July 2009, as well as five reported cases of criminal sexual assault and five cases of narcotics possession. One […]

Since 2007, one out of every four Chicago nursing homes have reported cases of sexual assault against elderly and disabled residents but there has been only one arrest, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. At least 86 cases of sexual assault or rape have been reported in 30 of the city’s 119 nursing home in the past two-and-a-half years. State law requires nursing homes to immediately report such instances of Chicago nursing home abuse to authorities. However, The Tribune found no police reports were filed in connection with at least nine alleged sexual attacks reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Most of the cases involved residents attacking other residents. Others involved attacks by employees or visitors — the sole case to be prosecuted involved an orderly. As reported in November by the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Abels & Annes, the state is scrambling to address a three-part Tribune series detailing the mixing of mentally ill felons with nursing home residents, incomplete background checks, low staffing levels and a breakdown in reporting serious crimes against residents. Government records show that the 30 Chicago facilities where rapes were reported were about twice as likely to house convicted felons and mentally ill patients. The Tribune reported that most of the 30 Chicago nursing homes with alleged sexual assaults had substandard staffing levels. In addition to the 48 felony sexual assaults reported at the homes since 2007, another 28 criminal sexual abuse complaints were filed, which can include molestation or groping and can be either a misdemeanor or felony. With just one arrest among the 48 rape reports, the rate of prosecution for sexual assault in nursing homes falls far below the closure rate for such cases citywide. Last year, Chicago police investigated 1,446 criminal sexual assault reports […]

A resident of a West Side nursing home faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly beating a 72-year-old dementia patient for apparently stealing his food, the Chicago Breaking News Center reported. The charges were upgraded Dec. 15 against the 62-year-old accused resident, who authorities described as a psychotic felon living in the same facility with the victim. The man is accused of repeatedly punching the victim in the head after the victim reportedly entered his room and began eating his food. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. He died Sept. 18. As the Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes reported on its Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer blog, the Aug. 21 incident and an investigative report by the Chicago Tribune prompted state lawmakers to look into the issue of violent felons being housed in Illinois nursing homes. The accused resident, who has a history of drug conviction and aggressive behavior, told authorities he assaulted the victim for eating his lunch of pot roast, green beans and potatoes. The Breaking News Center reported the nursing home, Columbus Park Nursing and Rehabilitation, was recently investigated by state public health officials for allegations of violence to some of its residents. The Chicago Tribune reported the home revealed two other assaults had occurred during the previous 90 days while Chicago police reported 11 alleged batteries inside the facility during the same time period. State health officials opened a broad investigation to determine whether Columbus Park is accurately reporting incidences of violence and abuse. However, health department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said that the department is inundated with facility incident reports, and “unfortunately with the staffing that we have, we’re not always able to connect the dots.” Columbus Park employees had documented the accused resident’s history of “violent, aggressive behaviors,” […]

State lawmakers will hold hearings this month on ways to improve safety in Illinois nursing homes after outrage over the high number of felons with mental illness housed in the state’s elder-care facilities. An investigation by the Chicago Tribune found the situation has led to violent crimes, including murder, rape and assault, being committed against innocent residents. The Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers and Chicago nursing home attorneys at Abels & Annes continue to monitor this issue closely — the well being of vulnerable seniors is clearly at stake as dangerous felons and the mentally ill continue to be housed in nursing facilities. The Senate committee hearings Nov. 5 will include testimony from elder advocates, as well as state agencies in charge of nursing home safety, including the departments of human services, family services, health care, aging and public health. The Chicago Tribune reported the hearings are in response to the newspaper’s three-part series detailing the mixing of mentally ill felons with nursing home residents, incomplete background checks, low staffing levels and a breakdown in reporting serious crimes against residents. You can read more about that series on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog. “At the end of the day, we need substantive results, and we need to protect our families,” Sen. William Delgado, D-Chicago, told the Tribune. Gov. Pat Quinn has also convened the Nursing Home Safety Task Force, which held the first of six meetings last week. And Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has called on public health officials to increase inspections, improve data-keeping of alleged crimes and review the criminal histories of all 3,000 felons living in nursing homes. “I want to ask the Public Health Department what (its) plan is to improve enforcement in nursing homes, whether we need legislation or more staff,” […]

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