CHICAGO, March 30, 2017 – 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, 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. 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.
As a non-profit organization, CJE 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 and their families 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.”
Over the next few weeks, CJE will work diligently and cooperatively with IDOA and AgeOptions to transition at-risk seniors to programs that will give them access to home-delivered meals, chore housekeeping and personal care services.
It is extremely important to note that CJE SeniorLife will continue to provide several services and programs in the city and surrounding suburbs for low-to-moderate income seniors, such as adult day services (with transportation), independent housing, short-term rehabilitation at Lieberman Center in Skokie, Assisted Living at Weinberg Community, benefits counseling and home-delivered meals. While some of these programs also depend on federal funding, many are further subsidized by support from Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, grants from foundations and corporations, and donations from generous individuals who are dedicated to ensuring that older adults can age with dignity and respect.
For more information about CJE’s home and community-based services, the closing of CJE’s Personal Care Program, please contact Laura Prohov, Vice President, Community Services, 773.508.1010. To learn more about resources that will help seniors stay longer in their homes, call CJE’s main number at 773.508.1000.
Since 1972, CJE SeniorLife has enhanced the lives of older adults and their families through an innovative, comprehensive network that includes life enrichment programs, supportive resources, healthcare, research and education. CJE is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. For more information about CJE services, call 773.508.1000 or visit www.cje.net.
Contact: Nicole Bruce