Many rural counties in Illinois face the same lack of choice when it comes to high-quality nursing homes. Rural nursing homes are buffeted with a number of issues that often lead to understaffing and low quality of care. In addition, some nursing homes in rural areas are closing because of financial challenges.
There are 52 counties in Illinois with a population of under 30,000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and 45 of which has three or fewer nursing homes. Pope, Pulaski and Putnam, three counties with over 16,000 people in total, have no nursing homes within the counties.
Flaws in the Illinois state legislature’s bill to legalize cannabis for recreational use has led to statewide shortages in the product, particularly for the nearly 100,000 registered medical cannabis patients, according to a review of state documents and interviews with those in the industry. Indeed, since the medical cannabis program launched in Illinois in 2014, complaints filed by medical patients against dispensaries in the state have soared, as 102 out of all 267 complaints were filed in 2020 alone.
David Kurfman is a registered Illinois cannabis patient from Mount Sterling, who has been using the plant to treat his epilepsy since 2015. He believes the state has not done enough to protect its medical cannabis patients during a time when there is higher demand than supply can adequately meet.
Four Illinois nursing homes already identified by federal medical authorities as having a history of serious quality issues have suffered outbreaks of the coronavirus in the past two months. Twenty-four nursing homes are listed under the federal Special Focus Facility program, which is overseen by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.