[UPDATED] Illinois Bill to Allow 16 Hospice Facilities Per County, Up from 5 

The Illinois legislature has passed a bill that would increase the maximum number of licensed hospice inpatient facilities in each of the state’s counties to 16, up from five.

State Rep.Natalie Manley (D) introduced the legislation with seven co-sponsors. It now awaits a signature from the state’s Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D). In addition to boosting the maximum number of inpatient locations, the forthcoming law would permit hospice facilities to care for as many as 24 patients, up from 20.

Illinois Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel (D) co-sponsored the bill.


“We need more physicians and hospice providers because our Baby Boomers are getting older, and we’re seeing more interest in hospice,” Cappel told Hospice News. There’s just such a great need for it. It’s important to make sure that we provide those services in the community.”

By 2030, seniors are projected to make up nearly a quarter (22.3%) of the state’s overall population, up from 16.6% currently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

More than 57,000 Illinois residents enrolled in hospice during 2021, a utilization rate of about 47%, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


Though current state law allows for as many as five facilities per county, many Illinois markets have yet to reach that threshold, particularly in rural areas, according to Loughran Cappel.

The newly approved legislation owes a great deal to the advocacy of the Joliet, Illinois-based nonprofit Lighways Hospice, Loughran Cappel said. And her own personal experience with hospice informed her decision to support the bill.

“[Lightways] were the ones that said, ‘Hey, there’s a need here,’” she said. “And I think that’s true, because of my own experience. My mom was in hospice in 2015. She was diagnosed with cancer and received hospice care in the home, and I was her caretaker.”

Editor’s note (July 5, 2023): This article was updated to specify that the bill applies to the number of hospice facilities in particular, rather than the number operators.

Companies featured in this article: