Illinois task force offers recommendations to reform nursing home system

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The Nursing Home Safety Task Force commissioned by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) released its recommendations for reforming that state's long-term care system on Friday.

The task force was formed in response to a series of reports of mentally ill and potentially violent felons living in Illinois' nursing homes and harming other residents. The recommendations include housing potentially violent offenders in more secure facilities, and moving most of the state's mentally ill nursing home residents to smaller, residential programs, according to the Chicago Tribune, which also published the stories that led to the task force. Nursing homes would also be required to conduct more rigorous background checks on potential new residents.

Though the task force's recommendations are cost-neutral, it recommends imposing a higher nursing home licensing fee to cover the cost of hiring more regulators, reports the Tribune. The task force has set a deadline of April 30 for implementation of most of its new regulations.