Nursing Homes Represented by Health Care Council of Illinois:
• Home to 78,000 seniors; 50,000 of them depend on Medicaid to pay for their care.
• Care for 75 percent of Illinois’ nursing home residents on Medicaid.
• Employ 100,000 workers.
• 10th largest employer in Illinois.
Illinois eliminated or greatly reduced dental, podiatry and vision coverage for nursing home residents as part of the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together Act (SMART Act). These are medical necessities.
Dental services can mean the difference between life and death
• Lack of dental care leads to poor nutrition, which is is the most common cause of deterioration in an elderly patient, often causing death.
• After the SMART Act, Medicaid only covers emergency tooth extraction. • Elderly people who have teeth removed and are not given dentures could be condemn to receive their nutrition through a feeding tube.
• Illinois State Dental Society also supports restoring funding for dental services.
Podiatry services also play a critical role in the health of elderly patients
• After the SMART Act, Medicaid covers podiatry only for residents with diabetes.
• Many seniors have ailments other than diabetes that lead to poor circulation and loss of feeling in their lower extremities.
• Failure to provide podiatry services can lead to serious medical issues, commonly gangrene and amputation.
• Illinois Podiatric Medical Association supports restoring funding for podiatry services.
Vision loss and changes in vision are very common for nursing home residents
• After the SMART Act, Medicaid covers only one pair of glasses every two years for seniors.
• The reduction in vision coverage leaves residents less able to function independently and to perform life’s everyday tasks like.
• It’s unconscionable to force a senior to live in a world of darkness because their glasses are broken, stolen, lost or an outdated prescription.
Protect the Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Support funding for vital health services!