September 1, 2022
Ever since the Champaign County Board sold the county’s nursing home in 2018, the quality and options for skilled nursing care and rehab in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs; also known as “nursing homes”) in Champaign County has declined steadily.
CCHCC strenuously opposed the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home for exactly this reason. We opposed the sale of the County Nursing Home on principle, because our research showed that county nursing homes provide higher quality of care because they have better staffing ratios since they are not trying to make a profit, and we also opposed the sale to the particular buyer that the brokers found for the county (the Rothners), because of the horrendous track record of their nursing homes.
Not only does our county have fewer nursing homes as a result of the sale of the county nursing home, and therefore fewer beds, to help care for an increasing aging population and those who need rehabilitation following a hospital stay – the nursing homes that remain are now severely understaffed.
Understaffing of nursing homes has a direct impact on patient care. And while many might think that the understaffing is a result of the pandemic, the truth is that understaffing in our area nursing homes is not simply caused by the pandemic. Understaffing of nursing homes is often a business model for the for-profit nursing home companies.
A recent story on WCIA-TV shows an all-too-common nursing home horror story. This story features Lisa Dixon, who is the co-chair of the CCHCC Board of Directors, and her sister-in-law, Lori Dixon (she has end-stage MS), who was a patient at Savoy’s CU Nursing and Rehab facility. Check out the reporting by WCIA’s Renee Cooper.
This story is all too common, and it is happening to too many of our community members. And the actual situation was far worse than what the news story was able to cover.
What happened to the nursing homes in our community? Champaign County used to have a few more nursing homes than we have now.