The Magazine of Illinois Lawyers

July 2013Volume 101Number 7Page 336

July 2013 Illinois Bar Journal Cover Image

Illinois Law Update:
Administrative Agencies

By students of the University of Illinois College of Law

New written risk-reduction policy requirements for long-term care facilities

Department of Public Health

Amendments to the Skilled Nursing and Intermediate Care Facilities Code (the "Code"), effective March 29, 2013, mandate additional minimum written resident care policies and procedures for long-term care facilities. See 77 Ill. Adm. Code 300.610. Long-term care facility policies are required to be available for review by the public, staff, and residents. Id.

Facilities must include among their written resident care policies provisions designed to identify and develop strategies to control risk of injury to residents and health care workers associated with lifting, transferring, or movement of a resident. 77 Ill. Adm. Code 300.610(c)(4).

These written policies shall include, at a minimum, five provisions: 1) provisions for risk assessment, taking into account resident handling needs and the physical environment in which handling occurs; 2) provisions describing policies to train nurses in identifying and controlling risks of injury to residents and health workers during resident handling; 3) provisions dealing with evaluation of risk-reducing alternatives; 4) a provision restricting, to the extent feasible with existing equipment and absent an emergency, manual resident movement of all or most of a resident's weight; and 5) provisions for refusal by nurses to perform or be involved in resident handling or movement where the nurse, in good faith, believes it will expose the resident or the nurse to unacceptable risk of injury. Id.