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Who Regulates Nursing Homes in Illinois?

Illinois nursing homes are required to comply with state and federal regulations. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) ensures that nursing homes comply with mandatory state regulations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ensures that Medicare and Medicaid payments for resident services meet federal regulations. In Illinois, a nursing home abuse attorney McHenry can provide legal advice for personal injuries, neglect and abuse.

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Who Regulates Nursing

State Regulations

Each year, IDPH responds to approximately 6,000 complaints and conducts over 1,300 on-site inspections to evaluate nursing home staff, equipment, policies and finances. According to state regulations, nursing homes must provide the highest quality of resident care possible. Facilities that fail to meet these standards are subject to fines and other enforcement actions. Residents who suffer nursing home abuse or neglect can protect their legal rights through a nursing home abuse attorney McHenry.


Illinois nursing home inspections are typically conducted once every 12 months without notice to the facility. On-site inspections are conducted by state surveyors with qualified teams that evaluate all aspects of nursing home practices and resident care. Inspections may take three to four days and teams include:

  • State inspectors

  • Registered professional nurses (RNs)

  • Licensed nutritionists

  • Environmental health professionals

  • Life safety experts

State inspections often include observation of residential care, evaluation of medical records, and interviews with staff, residents and family members. Alleged cases of abuse and resident accidents, injuries or deaths are promptly investigated. After each inspection, IDPH findings are given to nursing home administrators. If state or federal violations are found, the facility is cited for deficiencies.

Enforcement Remedies

Deficiencies range from minor violations to dangerous violations that often require a nursing home abuse attorney McHenry for personal injuries. If deficiencies are cited, the nursing home must submit a written plan of correction to IDPH within 10 days. If warranted, IDPH can impose fines, suspend admissions, suspend or revoke the nursing home's license, or close the facility. Nursing homes with severe or repeated federal violations can have their certification for Medicare or Medicaid suspended or revoked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

IDPH commonly imposes a $10,000 civil monetary fine for each violation, while federal fines can range from $50 to $10,000 per day. Money collected for state penalties are deposited into a special IDPH fund for Illinois nursing homes to correct violations when administrators fail to comply.

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