THE BLOG
10/08/2014 03:48 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

Illinois One of the Worst States for Nursing Homes

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's former company GTCR is under scrutiny for its involvement in a nursing home chain that is now facing wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. What about nursing homes in Illinois? Where does the quality of Illinois nursing homes stack up against the rest of the country?

Families for Better Care released its "Nursing Home Report Cards" for 2014. Out of all 50 states and Washington D.C., Illinois is the eighth worst (#44) for nursing home quality. Not only did Illinois earn a failing grade yet again, it worsened from the No. 42 spot in last year's rankings.

To determine the rankings, Families for Better Care analyzed staffing data from the Kaiser Health Foundation, performance indicators from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Compare and complaint statistics from the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

This was the formula used to calculate each state's average grade for nursing home quality.

Sum of the Average Grades for: Professional Nurse Hours Per Resident Per Day, Certified Nursing Assistant Hours per Resident per Day, Percentage of Facilities with Above Average Professional Nurse Staffing, Percentage of Facilities with Above Average Direct Care Staffing, Percentage of Facilities with Above Average Health Inspections, Percentage of Facilities with Deficiencies, Percentage of Facilities with Severe Deficiencies, Percentage of Verified Ombudsman Complaints

The key findings note level of quality hinges on one major factor-staffing.

The states with some of the worst-quality nursing homes:

11. New Mexico
10. Indiana
9. Georgia
8. Illinois
7. New York
6. Iowa

See the five worst states for nursing homes at Reboot Illinois.

"The difference between quality nursing home care and subpar care boils down to an average of 22 extra minutes of direct care per resident daily," according to the report.

However, one problem with the staffing data, which Families for Better Care acknowledges in its findings, is it's often inflated, and therefore skewed, since staff numbers are self-reported and reviewed by neither the states nor the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In Illinois, nursing homes averaged less than 2 hours and 15 minutes of direct resident care per day, even though there was an assumed increase in the amount of direct caregiver hours. One quarter of Illinois' nursing homes reported having a "severe deficiency," and the state earned an above average grade in only one category-health inspections.

Here's a breakdown of the grading criteria for Illinois for 2014:

Direct Care Staffing Above Average:

Data: 55.87 percent
Grade: D
Rank: 38

Direct Care Staffing Hours per Resident:

Data: 2.23 hours
Grade: F
Rank: 47

Facilities With Deficiencies:

Data: 96.87 percent
Grade: F
Rank: 44

Facilities With Severe Deficiencies:

Data: 25.85 percent
Grade: D
Rank: 39

Health Inspections Above Average:

Data: 44.13 percent
Grade: B
Rank: 13

Professional Nurse Staffing Above Average:

Data: 64.10 percent
Grade: C
Rank: 28

Professional Nursing Hours per Resident:

Data: 1.52 hours
Grade: D
Rank: 38

Verified Ombudsman Complaints:

Data: 73.63 percent
Grade: C
Rank: 22

See which states were ranked as having the best nursing homes in the country at Reboot Illinois.

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