In an effort to address sepsis rates among nursing home residents, one Illinois lawmaker says the answer can be found in better tracking of staffing levels.

Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) announced a bill, supported by AARP, that would require state regulators to obtain Medicaid payroll data from facilities to calculate each quarter whether they are meeting minimum staffing standards. Illinois requires at least 2.5 hours of direct daily care for residents, the Chicago Tribune reported.

But Matt Hartman, the executive director of the Illinois Health Care Association, called the bill redundant, and said he’s disappointed that nursing home stakeholders were not included in the process.

The bill “overreaches in regards to penalization,” Hartman told McKnight’s. “Given the opportunity, the IHCA would have worked with advocates toward addressing these issues.”

Collins’ measure comes partly in response to a joint investigative series in September by the Tribune and Kaiser Health News. It found that 6,000 nursing home residents who were hospitalized each year had sepsis, with 1 in 5 dying. The report noted staffing levels for SNFs in Illinois were some of the lowest in the country.

“You would think that anytime you put your loved one in a nursing home, the care would be there, because it’s supposed to be regulated, but we find that’s not the case,” Collins told the Tribune this week.

Under the proposed legislation, nursing homes that fail its staffing test would be fined at least twice the money saved by not staffing properly, according to the Tribune. They would also have to post signs in doorways, informing customers they had failed to provide proper staffing during the previous quarter.