The fire prevention system was recently put into place to comply with the new regulation put into place by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In 2008, CMS passed a rule requiring fire sprinklers in all nursing homes and other skilled care facilities.
The new rule gave nursing homes a five year window to install a water sprinkler system. According to a recent CMS memorandum, nursing homes who do not install a sprinkler system will be given three months to comply. Failure to act will result in denials of payment. Being denied payment from CMS would result in the closure of almost any nursing home. Nursing homes that are only partially sprinklered will have six additional months to remedy the situation.
There are currently 19 Illinois nursing homes without any sprinkler systems and 195 Illinois nursing homes have only a partial sprinkler system.
For families with residents in those 19 Illinois nursing homes without any sprinkler systems, this news is cause for great alarm. Nursing homes and nursing home administrators have known about this new regulation for five years. If they haven’t taken any action by now, I would say they likely have no intention of doing so.
Owners may be planning to make as much money as possible until CMS stops payment, then simply shut down. To maximize their profit until then, staff will be cut, meals will be inadequate, and cleanliness will be at a minimum. In short, this will be an extremely dangerous time.
Bed sores, nursing home falls, dehydration and malnutrition, and medication errors are certain to follow. If you have a loved one in any Illinois nursing home, and you feel they are the victims of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.