Illinois Aging Network Alert
A Turkey for Thanksgiving - FINANCIAL CHALLENGES STILL REMAIN
“While the 2018 (Illinois State) budget took positive steps to address the financial challenges faced by the state, there remains a lot of work to do in order to restore solid and long-term financial footing. Therefore, while we remain committed to serving residents of the state of Illinois, we will continue to pursue acquisition opportunities outside of Illinois to further diversify our revenue, with the ultimate goal to reduce our Illinois business to under 35% of consolidated revenue.”,(Addus Homecare CEO Dirk Allison as reported in the Home Healthcare News, 11/9/17). Addus earlier this year moved its headquarters from Illinois to Frisco, Texas, citing that one of its biggest challenges was the two-year budget impasse which held up tens of millions in Medicaid payments under the Community Care Program. A strong business climate begins with the respect and support shown to our elders and those with special needs. (https://homehealthcarenews.com/2017/11/addus-aims-to-limit-illinois-exposure/)
Illinois’ financial challenge remains the Aging Network’s major threat. The 13 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and their funded community-based providers last received ANY General Revenue Funds (GRF) in October of 2016 (with the exception of Home Delivered Meals and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program). That GRF was paid in arrears for SFY16 services which ended June 30, 2016.
AAAs depend on state General Revenue Fund payments to sustain community services. Time has run out and services can no longer be delivered and reimbursed without State payment. The community just does not have the cash reserves or lines of credit to sustain the Department on Aging backlog of payments. The State of Illinois owes the thirteen AAAs over $8.4 million in GRF for services they provided in FY17, which ended on June 30, 2017. That total, as of November 10, includes:
Title III Admin/Service Match $2.4 million
Community Based Services $5.2 million
Adult Protective Services Support $480,000
Long Term Care Systems Development $227,000
Senior Employment Specialists Program $136,000
While the enactment of the SFY18 budget took positive steps to address financial challenges, to date it has not resulted in payment of any SFY17 General Revenue Funds. Aging services are critical to keeping your constituents safe and independent in the community. With older adults living longer, Illinois should be preserving these programs, not destabilizing them! AAAs and the aging network will always remain committed to serving older adults in Illinois but we cannot continue without payment.
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