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Chicago nursing homes reprimanded for misleading its mentally ill patients

The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti were happy to know that for-profit Chicago nursing home operators were finally issued a stinging reprimand from a federal judge this week. The judge called the misleading Chicago nursing homes out for using “scare tactics” to persuade psychiatric patients to remain in nursing home facilities rather than moving to supportive community housing that specializes in serving the mentally ill. The federal ruling was made public this week and is directly related to a landmark proposed Illinois court settlement. Illinois authorities in the court settlement promised to offer supportive community-based housing and treatment to nearly 4500 psychiatric patients that are currently living in two dozen large nursing homes known as Institutions for Mental Diseases (“IMDs”). But, Chicago nursing home operators worried about their profits recently distributed “information sheets” to their residents and residents’ families asserting that the proposed settlement lacks details. The information sheet also scares the residents to believe that the settlement could strip away protections for individuals who leave the Illinois nursing home facilities, implying that some could be left hungry, homeless, and without care.

The judge ordered the Illinois nursing homes to stop distributing the “information sheets.” The judge stated that: “implications that those transferred to a community setting would be left without housing, food, or medical care … are misleading in that the settlement provides that the community placements are to include provisions for such.” The judge also cited many other claims in the “information sheets” that he described as inaccurate and incendiary. In a very strong demand, the judge ordered the Illinois nursing home operators to stop contacting the psychiatric patients without permission from the attorneys representing the mentally ill patients involved in the lawsuit.

More information about the judge’s ruling reprimanding the Illinois nursing homes is available at the Chicago Tribune.