State lawmakers hear from nursing home officials at this stage of the pandemic

A union official added, everybody needs to remember that most people want to stay out of nursing homes, in favor of their own homes, for as long as possible. (WJBC file photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The state of nursing homes at this stage of the pandemic faced an Illinois Senate committee. From the Health Care Council of Illinois, Matt Pickering says his members are hurting.

“With the inadequate Medicaid funding, coupled with extraordinary expenses from the pandemic, many facilities in Illinois are in financial freefall,” Pickering said.

A top Illinois Department of Public Health official agrees: the problems are complex, not the least of which is labor.

“I think the competition for salaries in the Chicago metropolitan area contributes to that,” said Becky Dragoo. “We also have in this area a significant number of facilities that are poor-performing. So I think those factors contribute to the high rate of attrition that we see.”

A union official added, everybody needs to remember that most people want to stay out of nursing homes, in favor of their own homes, for as long as possible.

Dave Dahl can be reached at news@wjbc.com

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