Home Care Association Says More Than a Third of Its Members Have Only 30 Days to Survive If State Funding Is Not Restored
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the state program that funds home care for 80,000 seniors destined to run out of money on Friday, more than one-third of the agencies that supply this critical service to the elderly will have daily service operations immediately threatened should the current payment lag be extended by one more month, according to information submitted to Illinois lawmakers.
Last week the Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA) notified providers that funding for the Community Care Program (CCP), which supports home care for 80,000 seniors statewide, will lapse by Friday, March 15th. With the deadline looming, the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers (IACCPHP) sent a letter to state legislators this week urging them to pass a $173 million supplemental appropriation to save CCP from financial ruin and "avoid a collapse of the homecare agency infrastructure."
Without that infusion, CCP funding will cease for the remainder of the fiscal year, a situation that 37 percent of Association members likened to a "fiscal cliff" from which they couldn't recover.
"When the CCP appropriation is exhausted later this week, IDoA will not be able to approve payment for services provided and create an invoice for payment," the letter states. "This will further extend the payment cycle, and jeopardize the bank borrowing (collateralized by CCP account receivables) most providers rely on to finance ongoing operational expenses including employee payroll.
Eighty-thousand seniors across Illinois depend on home care assistance through the Community Care Program to live independently. Any loss of service could have dire implications for their future.
"When homecare providers are forced to dramatically reduce services, or shutter their doors, the seniors relying on CCP services will suffer the worst consequences: forced to move into a more expensive Medicaid funded nursing home; remain at home in an unsafe environment likely resulting in injury or health decline that will lead to an unnecessary hospital visit; or force family members to forego their employment to provide care," the letter states.
The funding moratorium compounds an already onerous backlog in state reimbursements that home care providers have struggled to withstand. It also comes at a time when demand for home care is dramatically increasing as the Baby Boomers age.
Beyond the potentially catastrophic impacts a funding lapse would inflict on seniors, the disruption in CCP funding also threatens the economic security of 25,000 home care assistants statewide. If they lose their jobs, the state will also forfeit the revenues they contribute to the economy, worsening Illinois' budget plight.
SEIU Healthcare, the union representing home care workers supported by CCP has joined with providers in urging legislators to pass supplemental funding to keep the program operational.
SOURCE Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers (IACCPHP)
- Senior Health
- Family Health