State rarely investigates hospital complaints

Due to limited state funds, the Illinois Department of Public Health declined to investigate 85 percent of the 560 hospital complaints it received last year, reported the Chicago Tribune this week. Some of the complaints included reports of serious patient abuse and poor infection control, according to the article.

"These are serious complaints," said Lisa McGiffert, director of the national Consumers Union Safe Patient Project. "If the regulatory system is collecting these complaints and not responding, that is a massive failure of oversight."

The state in 2010 spent $498,000 on hospital oversight with half the funds coming from the federal government and the other half from the state. Article