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Another hostage goes down

Friday, Mar 31, 2017

* CJE SeniorLife was founded decades ago by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. The impasse has forced it to close down its personal care program

This has been a very challenging year for CJE SeniorLife and other health and human service providers due to the financial situation in the State of Illinois. Consequently, after extensive deliberation by the Executive Committee of CJE’s Board of Directors along with Senior Leadership, CJE has made the difficult decision to close its Personal Care Program as of April 28, 2017. As a result, CJE will terminate the Managed Community Care Program (MCCP) contract and its Title III B chore housekeeping contract. Earlier this year, CJE closed its Community Care Program (CCP) that provided in-home personal care services through the Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA) in order to contain its losses.

Since July 2016, however, CJE has been reimbursed less than 40% of what is owed for providing vital home and community-based services that are funded through state contracts… and the State budget situation is not anticipated to be resolved in the near future. All of CJE’s valiant efforts over the past nine months to reach out to the Illinois Department on Aging, State legislators and the Comptroller’s office to get reimbursed for services have been unsuccessful. As a non-profit organization, CJE simply does not have the resources to provide these services indefinitely without jeopardizing the viability of the entire organization which annually serves more than 23,000 seniors with a wide-range of health and human services.

By closing the access to these vital in-home services, CJE will no longer provide in-home services or care management to approximately 265 low-income and at-risk older adults living in the community. These vulnerable and frail older adults will need to be transferred to new providers in a service network that is shrinking daily as more providers cancel State contracts due to lack of payment. This action also impacts approximately 86 of CJE’s full-time and part-time in-home employees who will lose their jobs.

According to Mark D. Weiner, CJE’s President and CEO: “This was an extremely heart wrenching decision for our Board and senior leadership team. CJE was founded 45 years ago with the mission to provide services and programs that would facilitate the independence of older adults in our community. Home and community-based services have been the cornerstone of our agency’s work and we know for a fact that it is more cost-effective for people to age-in-place than move to a nursing home. But our State’s fiscal crisis is causing us to cut a vital program and while we are committed to protecting our mission, we also have to be financially prudent.”

Emphasis added.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Emily Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:27 pm:


  2. - Henry Francis - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    Hang in there! Once we’re competitive we’ll get back to you.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    Diana Rauner calls things like paying vendors, or not paying vendors and having whomever can holdout… a business decision?

  4. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    Raunerites are getting pretty good at this trench warfare thingy.


  5. - Moe Berg - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    A bad day for some people is a good day for Bruce Rauner. Also brings to mind Leader Radogno’s comments to Bernie Schoenberg back in January 2016:

    Radogno also said that, while many social service agencies are struggling without state funding, and “seeing the bigger agencies have problems is very scary,” there “needed to be a shakeout.”

    “Most legislators I talk to agree with that,” Radogno said. “I mean I actually met with an agency that had 36 clients. … Some of these very small, very weak agencies, where their clients were being taken over by larger agencies. … I think not all of that was a horrible thing.”

  6. - ccp - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    I worked for Senior Services of Central IL in 2014 in the Community Care Program as a “Care Coordinator”. Aging was behind on its payments to SSCI. Senior Services is a non-profit right-to-work employer. Turnover is HIGH. We were expected to meet with seniors, do assessments and the follow-up paperwork for 3 clients each work day. Assessments alone took several hours. Not an easy job especially with an unwilling participant. Then we were not taking on new clients because we didn’t have the manpower to staff them. Of course, since Senior Services still hasn’t been paid it’s reduced employees’ hours and reduced the hours of the Senior Center on Walnut. Not a good thing.

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Where’s the shame?

    Where’s the effin Democrats and media putting it all together and presenting it to the people?

  8. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    Republicans don’t care (excluding ow) they must have common sense reforms before human needs can be met.
    Republicans who disagree need to actively fight their own kind. I can no longer distinguish republicans from Raunerites. They are one in the same.

  9. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    Oh, that Mendoza, not getting state vendors paid…. /s

  10. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    Yes, but how many people could lose their jobs if the out-of-state IT vendor isn’t paid? /s

  11. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Hypothetical question: Rauner wins re-election and control over the legislature…how will human services agencies fare in the first budget he signs? /s

  12. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    >86 of CJE’s full-time and part-time in-home employees

    So, if I recall correctly, that drops us down to 14 jobs gained since all those years ago?

  13. - CCP Hostage - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    The losses will cascade as fewer providers try to provide care for a growing number of seniors without adequate reimbursement. Some CCP providers have closed intake in order to try to survive. This network will not last till another governor is elected unless we are given access to the lending programs other state providers have access to.

  14. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    Jobs lost, services lost, the voice of the IDP still lost….

  15. - @misterjayem - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    “In Illinois there’s been a long-time history of what I would call social service, social justice, a bigger role for government in the safety net than in many other states. I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic” — Bruce Rauner, September 18, 2012.

    This isn’t an accident.

    This is the plan.

    – MrJM

  16. - Langhorne - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    Winning. Seniors want term limits more than services. /s

  17. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    >This is the plan.

    Dear opposition: here is my plan. Here is how I plan to campaign against you in the next election. I am telling you this ahead of time because you won’t do much to stop me anyway.

  18. - Mark D. Weiner, CJE SeniorLife President & CEO - Monday, Apr 3, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Both the Illinois Department on Aging and the Comptroller’s office have worked with CJE to see if there was a path to keep our Managed Community Care Program open. But without a budget, IDOA is not authorized to approve CJE’s bills and thus the bills are not even sent to the Comptroller’s office to be paid. After nearly two years of uncertainty with reimbursements—and the dire prospect of another two years without a resolution to the budget impasse—CJE simply can’t afford to continue covering the state’s obligations to help older adults remain in the community.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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