Inspections find peril in central Illinois nursing homes

After months of interviews and reviewing Medicare data, Illinois Department of Public Health reports, court records and other documents, CU-CitizenAccess.org found that central Illinois homes are still accumulating steep fines and leaving residents at risk for untreated injuries, infections and medication errors. Credits
Reporting by Robert Holly and Claire Everett
Photographs by Darrell Hoemann
Graphics by Claire Everett and Acton H. Gorton

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Here are some of the key facts and findings:

In 16 Illinois counties, there are 81 nursing homes that accept government assistance under Medicare. More than 41 percent of those homes, a total of 34 facilities, are rated below what Medicare considers average. Champaign County has seven nursing homes. Three of those homes are rated as one-star facilities on Medicare’s five-star rating scale.

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Understaffing hard on nursing homes, residents alike

For many, nursing homes seem like the best option for aging family members because facilities offer the promise of 24-hour care.

It is a promise, though, that many Champaign County and central Illinois nursing homes are finding hard to keep because of understaffing, particularly when it comes to registered nurses.