CICERO, Ill. — A measure sponsored by state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, to reform Illinois’ nursing home rates and hold facility owners accountable was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Nursing home residents are some of our most vulnerable community members. We must protect them and provide them with the affordable, high quality health care they deserve,” Hernandez said. “Proper staffing and funding are essential to the success of any long term care facility, and this legislation addresses both so that nursing home residents receive the highest level of care.”
House Bill 246 redesigns Illinois’ nursing home assessment program, which will help bring more federal funds to enhance payments to nursing homes. The legislation also directly ties additional funding to increase staffing to incentivize hiring in long term care facilities. Pay increases as staffing ratios improve, which is a predictor of improved health outcomes for nursing home residents. The new law also raises the base rate for all nursing homes to account for wage increases and creates a new and higher pay scale for Certified Nursing Assistants who make up a large proportion of nursing home staff.
“Well funded and properly staffed nursing homes are better equipped to treat nursing home residents and maintain their dignity and ability to heal,” said Hernandez. “This new law is the product of months of collaboration among lawmakers, industry groups and the Department of Health and Family Services. It shows that when we take all viewpoints into account, we build stronger legislation that benefits our most vulnerable residents.”
House Bill 246 passed without opposition and is supported by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Health Care Association, Health Care Council of Illinois, LeadingAge Illinois, Petersen Health Care, SEIU Healthcare, Affordable Assisted Living Coalition and AARP Illinois.
For more information, please visit www.ilga.gov.
Visit Rep Lisa Hernandez website
109 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
6117 West Cermak Road
Cicero, IL 60804
(708) 222-5241 FAX