Provider Saves 750 Ill. Home Care Jobs in Limbo

Days after Illinois’ largest statewide provider of social services announced major program and job cuts affecting about 4,700 clients, including homebound seniors, a Chicago-based home care agency has intervened to help.

On Jan. 22, Des Plaines, Illinois-based Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) eliminated 750 jobs and closed more than 30 programs throughout the state. The programs had been going on without payment from the state at a cost to the agency of almost $6.5 million, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
“Currently, we are owed more than $6 million by the state for services delivered,” LSSI President and CEO Mark A. Stutrud said in a prepared statement. “After seven months, we can no longer provide services for which we aren’t being paid.”
Because of the cuts, programs that help homebound seniors were expected to take a major hit. Most of the money the states owes LSSI is for operation of those programs, according to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois spokeswoman Barb Hailey. Although the agency gets some reimbursement through Medicaid, it’s not nearly enough to keep operating the programs any longer, the Daily Herald reported.
Consequently, Intouch Adult Day Services in Moline, Illinois, a program of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, was scheduled to close on Feb. 26—leaving 250 clients of adult day and home care in limbo.
Until Help At Home Inc. stepped in.
The Chicago-based home care agency, which has operations in 12 states, announced it is assuming the leases at Intouch Adult Day and will offer employment to every Intouch home care and adult day staff member who meets the requirements of the program, Quad-Cities Online reported.
No money is changing hands with LSSI, according to Help At Home CEO Ron Ford.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Ford told Quad-Cities Online. “It’s serving a need in the community.”
The dearth of Medicaid payments has also impacted Help at Home, however, which is the largest Medicaid home care provider in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“It’s painful for me not to get paid,” Ford told Quad-Cities Online. “It’s very expensive.”

Written by Mary Kate Nelson