The state of Illinois is getting a $110 million grant from the federal government to improve safety and staffing at nursing homes, announced Governor Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) on Jan. 24.
“This is positive news for people who live in a nursing home or have a loved one living in a nursing home,” Governor Quinn said in a statement. “It means that our nursing homes get the funds that they need to continue improving safety and the quality of services that I signed into law as part of our nursing home reforms.”
The funds will be generated through nursing homes paying a provider tax of $6.07 per long-term care bed. This is expected to generate $110 million in federal Medicaid matching funds.
This funding mechanism will also generate $20 million earmarked for increasing staff at the Illinois Department of Public Health, which inspects and regulates nursing homes. A portion of the funds will also be used to support alternatives to nursing homes, like home care.
More money paid into the state system by nursing homes will allow the state to pay a higher Medicaid rate because it will be able to claim more federal reimbursements, but for small facilities without a high Medicaid census, the raised tax rate will likely do more harm than good, according to a Chicago Tribune article.
Written by Alyssa Gerace