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Compromised care: What Chicago Tribune reporters learned about felons in nursing homes

Compromised care
Photo via Flickr by ulrichkarljoho.

Chicago Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx, in a three-month investigation into the policies and practices of Illinois nursing homes, found that Illinois is an outlier among states in its reliance on nursing homes to house younger adults with mental illness, including thousands of felons whose disabilities qualify them for Medicaid-funded nursing care.

Jackson and Marx documented numerous recent cases in which violent psychiatric patients who were not receiving proper treatment assaulted, raped and even murdered their elderly and disabled housemates. The stories also showed how the chaotic and harmful behavior can spill outside the nursing home walls when patients are not properly supervised.

In this piece for AHCJ members, Jackson and Marx describe some of the techniques they used in the investigation.

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