Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, is proposing reforms that would raise the minimum staffing levels at nursing homes. There have been several studies that have shown that more nursing hours from the staff improved the quality of care by reducing the number of bedsores and by preventing unexplained weight loss for the residents of the facilities.
The current rule requires 2.5 hours of nursing care per resident per day. By 2014, these new reforms could raise the minimum to 4.1 hours per day for residents who need skilled care. This proposed reform is part of a package aimed at improving the safety of nursing facilities.
Just yesterday I blogged about a California nursing home chain involved in a class-action lawsuit due to understaffing (Nursing Home Chain Involved in a Staffing Class Action Lawsuit). Understaffing is a big problem in nursing homes that leads to insufficient care to the residents. It would benefit all nursing home residents in Illinois if this reform would pass. I hope that other states, especially Texas, will take note of the proposed reform. In Texas, there are no required minimum staffing levels.