Media coverage of our nursing home visits was extensive. This video provides a flavor of the TV coverage we received.
The Health Care Council of Illinois this weekend wrapped up the statewide tour with a stop at Jackson Square Nursing Center in Austin, just west of downtown Chicago.
The tour has been a terrific success raising awareness about the potential pitfalls of managed care for nursing home residents. Local media have covered all seven of our stops from the Quad Cities, Rockford, Belleville and Springfield to Quincy, Bloomington and Chicago, helping us spread the word about protecting the rights of nursing home residents in Illinois.
At each stop, residents, staff and family members have signed their own Bill of Rights as well as our large wall banner. These documents will be delivered to legislators in the Statehouse as a symbol of the citizens who will be protected by SB 3450. Thanks to everyone who participated in our statewide tour. Next stop...the Capitol Building!
HCCI Senior Adviser Alan Gaffner met the media at Heritage Health of Springfield and explained the reason for a Medicaid Managed Care Bill of Rights. In this video, Gaffner talks about having the right approach to care for nursing home residents.
The third stop on our statewide tour brought us to Belleville Nursing and Rehab in Belleville, IL. Nursing home residents were eager to hear the details of the proposed Nursing Home Residents Managed Care Bill of Rights and enthusiastically signed-off on the document as well as our 10 foot by 4 foot banner to be delivered to Gov. Pat Quinn.
"In Illinois, there are no protections for your rights living in the nursing home," Alan Gaffner, senior advisor for Health Care Council of Illinois, told residents. "It's very important that we help our elected officials know what you need. We want to make sure that you're protected. We want to make sure you have rights."
The Bill of Rights calls for such provisions and protections as residents having the opportunity to choose where they receive their care; care that is in their best interests and not a managed care organization's bottom line; and care delivery decisions that never trump their needs, their doctor's orders, or family wishes. The full Bill of Rights is available here.
We kicked off our 2014 tour to support nursing home residents' rights today with stops in Rock Island and Rockford. Both events were very successful and we would like to offer a big thank you to residents, family and staff at St. Anthony's Nursing and Rehab in Rock Island and Amberwood Care Center in Rockford.
Individuals at both homes took time to draft messages and sign their own Bill of Rights which will be sent to the governor and legislators urging them to support consistent quality care for nursing home residents in Illinois. Residents also signed a large banner that will be hand delivered to the governor's office when our statewide tour is complete.
To better channel the patriotic spirit of our founding fathers who signed the original Bill of Rights, residents, family and staff donned patriotic hats and pins and signed their Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights with feather quills.
"Without these protections, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will try to reduce costs by incentivizing the denial of nursing home care," St. Anthony's Administrator Tim Bledsoe warned. "But many frail and elderly Illinois residents need to live in a nursing home like this because they require highly skilled round-the-clock care."
We're launching another big spring tour around Illinois. We're calling this year's care-a-van "Protect the Rights of Nursing Home Residents."
Just like the rights that our Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution, we must guarantee that our seniors on Medicaid managed care have rights, namely access to medically necessary care that's in the best interest of the resident, not some state bureaucrat or managed care organization.
Try to image what it would be like without some of the basic services most people take for granted, but which is often denied or restricted for many of our nursing home residents on Medicaid. We're calling attention to the potential pitfalls for Medicaid managed care and to push for the best interest of residents when it comes to the quality of care offered by managed care organizations.
Follow along as we make several stops around the state, encouraging the Governor and legislators to "protect the rights" of nursing home residents to make sure care is resident-driven.