If you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home, you may file a complaint by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health’s toll-free hotline at 312-313-0035.
Nursing homes in Illinois are licensed, regulated, inspected, and certified by many different public and private agencies, including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The IDPH is responsible for ensuring that nursing homes comply with state laws and regulations. Every year, the IDPH conducts approximately 1,300 inspections of nursing homes and responds to about 6,000 complaints. The inspections are done to evaluate the fitness and adequacy of the nursing home and its equipment, staff, and policies.
An IDPH inspection may include inspection of medical records, observation of care given to residents, and interviews with residents, family, and staff member. Inspections in response to complaints focus on those areas of resident care where the nursing home is alleged to have been deficient or provided substandard care. If the inspection reveals additional problems, a broader inspection may be started.
When the IDPH determines that a nursing home has violated regulations or laws, it will make a deficiency determination. Deficiencies range from isolated violations with no harm to residents to widespread violations that injure residents or place them in immediate risk of harm. When deficiencies are cited, the IDPH requires the home to submit a written plan of correction within 10 days to explain how and when each problem will be corrected.
If it is warranted, the IDPH may fine a nursing home or suspend or revoke a nursing home’s license. The IDPH may also close an unlicensed facility. According to the IDPH, the most common penalty is a $10,000 fine per violation. When a nursing home receives a citation for a deficiency that results in a fine or other punishment, the IDPH issues a penalty letter identifying the violations at issue.
Complete reports of nursing home inspections and plans of correction are available through the IDPH’s website. Federal inspection reports are also available through medicare.gov.