House Bill 5703 allows complaints about a nursing home or long-term care facility to be submitted electronically to the Illinois Department of Public Health. It also requires that complainant questions be provided on the IDPH website, along with notification that complaints made with less information are far more difficult to respond to and investigate.
Gov. Pat Quinn has signed two new laws that protect vulnerable adults and senior citizens across Illinois.
The new laws improve procedures for reporting and resolving problems with individuals in nursing homes or community settings.
“Protecting our most vulnerable family members is one of the most important duties we have,” Quinn said. “These new laws will help ensure that our older adults and individuals with disabilities receive the highest quality of care no matter where they choose to live.”
“The health and safety of our loved ones in nursing homes and long-term care facilities is one of our top priorities,” Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “New means of accepting and compiling complaints about a nursing facility will help the department better identify new ways to investigate and substantiate anonymous complaints, ultimately helping to ensure quality care for residents.”
“The law to expand the authority of the long-term care ombudsman will make sure that older adults and persons with disabilities ages 18 to 59 who live in a community setting and receive medical assistance waiver services and managed care services receive the same advocacy rights and quality of life protections as people who reside in nursing homes around the state,” Department on Aging Director John K. Holton said. “Furthermore, this law now allows for ombudsman to have unrestricted private communication with any consenting resident without the additional consent of a legal guardian.”
House Bill 5703 allows complaints about a nursing home or long-term care facility to be submitted electronically to the Illinois Department of Public Health. It also requires that complainant questions be provided on the IDPH website, along with notification that complaints made with less information are far more difficult to respond to and investigate. IDPH will annually review the complaint process and produce reports for long-term care advisory boards and councils, who can provide suggestions on how to investigate and substantiate anonymous complaints while eliminating frivolous ones. HB 5703 takes effect immediately.
Senate Bill 798 expands the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to include advocacy for individuals in the Adult Protective Services program. The new law also allows ombudsmen more open access to individuals living in community-based settings and allows the ombudsman to report any business-related offense directly to the attorney general or the county state’s attorney. The new law is effective Jan. 1.
Quinn also signed Senate Bill 2958, which creates a three-year pilot program for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to administer medication in a limited setting under the supervision of a registered nurse. This will help fill the immediate need for more health care professionals created by the Affordable Care Act. The law is effective immediately.