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August 2015

Non-Profits Take Desperate Measures Without Budget
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While State lawmakers debate short-term solutions to the current budget stalemate, social service providers are already cutting costs to keep their doors open. Community based organizations collectively use billions in State funding to provide services like giving hot meals to senior citizens or running group homes for people with mental illness.

A newUnited Way survey documents how the budget deadlock is taking a toll. Direct service providers are cutting services, delaying new hires and tapping into cash reserves. Nearly three quarters of the social service agencies surveyed say they will run out of money in three months or less.

If community based organizations are forced to close, the damage done – even if a budget is ultimately passed – may be irreversible. According to State Sen. Heather Steans, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, "You can't just rebuild that infrastructure once it's lost."

alt tag From our blog

Patchwork of Short-Sighted Solutions Leaves the State's Most Vulnerable at Risk The expectation that Medicaid-funded long-term care providers will continue to provide care to low-income and vulnerable citizens without payment for those services is short-sighted and doesn’t fully consider the strains that it places on them – and on the direct care staff who provide the hands-on care to elders and people with disabilities. For providers that can keep their doors open without Medicaid funding, it may mean cutting costs by laying off staff, leaving the remaining nursing assistants to work longer shifts at the nursing home. Or, it may result in a consumer getting care from a new home care aide when her regular aide – who knew her schedule and needs – had to quit after losing her day care subsidy – another casualty of Gov. Rauner’s and the legislature’s inability to act and pass a budget.Read more...

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In case you missed it

Health plans for city of Chicago employeeswill now covergender reassignment services, joining a growing group ofcitiesnationwide who have made the change.

Illinois colleges can now release mental health information to students' parents if the student gives consent.The legislationwas introduced in response to the suicide of an Illinois college student and has been signed into law by Gov. Rauner.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is sharing medical data with physicians, in an effort to promote health care quality and reduce costs. Physicians in the DuPage Medical Group can access dataon the cost and quality of services that theirpatients receive when they get care outside the group.

Recent resources

Thistoolkit from Health & Disability Advocates and the Make Medicare Work Coalition helps direct service providers and their clients understand health insurance options with Medicaid Coordinated Care.
Medicaid Coordinated Care: Who to Call, What to Know

This report from HDA and MMW shares the experiences of professionals in helping older adults and people with disabilities navigate the health care system.
Maneuvering the Medicare and Medicaid Maze

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