Bed Check: Key findings

December 2, 2011 is taking a close look at 93 nursing homes in East Central Illinois in the wake of state efforts to reform nursing home oversight.

Over the past few months, we've reviewed hundreds of federal and state inspection reports on the quality of nursing home care.

The results are startling.;

Many nursing homes have repeated safety violations spanning the past five years, placing residents at risk for untreated pressure sores, bladder infections, serious medication errors and broken bones.

– In 13 East Central Illinois counties, there are 74 nursing homes that accept government aid. Forty-two percent, or 31, of the homes are rated below average.
– Fifty percent of nursing home beds that are Medicare or Medicaid certified are located in facilities rated below average by the federal regulatory site
– During the past five years – 2006 to 2010 – nearly 40 percent of nursing homes in Central Illinois have collectively paid more than $1.2 million in penalties and fines.
– State law allows for a 35 percent discount in fines if the facility waives its right to a hearing.
– The top 10 nursing homes in a 13-county area that have paid the most money in fines and penalties from 2006 to 2010 include.
– Asta Care of Bloomington ($148,000)
– Asta Care Center of Pontiac ($123,000)
– Asta Care Center of Ford County ($105,000)
– Danville Care Center ($90,167)
– Champaign County Nursing Home ($78,650)
– Helia HealthCare of Champaign ($72,024)
– McKinley Court ($68,819)
– Sullivan Rehab and Health Care Center ($61,602)
– Watseka Rehab and Health Care Center ($45,428)
– Mason Point ($43,300)

From 2001 to 2011, the state investigated more than 2,600 complaints against the 93 nursing home and assisted living facilities in a 13-county region. Any complaint made warrants an investigation, regardless of its legitimacy. Complaints can be made by anyone, including family members, residents and staff.