On June 28, disability advocates across the state, led by the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living , will join with our human services provider colleagues to call upon our state leaders to do the right thing tomorrow. Vigils will be held tonight, at 6 pm in Chicago at the Thompson Center, and at 6:45 pm in Springfield at the Abraham Lincoln statue at the State Capitol. The rallying cry today? GET IT DONE ILLINOIS! Help us by using the hashtag #GetItDoneIL on social media.
Why do we need to #GetItDoneIL? Consider the following stories of people with disabilities and seniors who have had trouble getting services and requested the help of Access Living’s Home and Community Ombudsman Program(which is funded in part by state funds that have not yet been paid!). Why are these people having trouble getting services? Because providers have not been paid on time.
Story #1: A family member was having a difficult time identifying a home health agency to care for an Aging consumer. The consumer was told repeatedly by various vendors that because the state was behind in Medicaid payments for 6-12 months, they were not accepting new patients at the time who were Medicaid reciepents. The family member continues to provide care to their aging family member because they have not been able to secure a home health agency to come into the home at this time. The family member is also unable to secure full time employment or financially contribute to the home because they are not able to leave their aging relative home without the proper care, and cannot work as the preferred provider because the family member is the Power of Attorney agent for the consumer, which goes against the Community Care Program (CCP) preferred worker policy. This places the entire household in a precarious situation. The only resolution the State was able to provide the family was to suggest the aging consumer be placed in a nursing facility, which goes against the wishes of the consumer. #GetItDoneIL
Story #2: Another aging consumer spent a month out of the country to visit his native homeland. Upon his return, he was informed that he was no longer eligible for homemaker services. Initially it was unclear why the consumer was terminated from CCP services, as he provided his home maker agency with enough notice regarding his leave. After further investigating from the Ombudsman team, it was discovered the home maker agency was refusing to reinstate the consumer because the state had not paid for the consumer services for over a year, prior to him leaving the country. Taking the appropriate measures, the Ombudsman was able to work with IDOA and the home maker agency to reinstate the consumer. The state agreed to submit payment to the agency and hence the consumer was reinstated. Without the involvement of the Ombudsman program, the consumer would probably continue to be without services and the agency would not be paid. #GetItDoneIL
Story #3: A homeless middle aged man from another state was recently enrolled with Illinois Medicaid. He reached out to the Ombudsmen in crisis looking for immediate and long term resolution. He had exhausted all of his medical supplies including his ostomy bags. He explained to us that he is currently traveling to and from his original state because he is struggling to identify a supplier that is willing to accept him as a new customer due to the lack of State funding. He is forced to reuse his used ostomy bags. He explained that he seals them with tape and it’s frustrating because the adhesive from the tape melts due to the hot weather. He has been relying on friends and other community partners to give him supplies. #GetItDoneIL
Story #4: A woman who was terminated by Medicaid because she failed to complete her re-determination letter, came to us for help. She is a disabled senior who moved out of a nursing home and into a senior building in the community. When she called her provider to order her monthly medical supplies, they informed her that she is no longer eligible because she does not have Medicaid. She reached out to HCOP and we assisted her with getting her Medicaid reinstated. However, when she and her Ombudsman called her provider to reinstate her services, they informed her that they are no longer accepting Medicaid recipients. #GetItDoneIL
Story #5: We heard from a senior woman who received a power wheelchair in May of 2016. Since receiving this chair she has been experiencing problems with the chair turning on. HCOP has been working with her to expedite the work order that she has put in with her equipment provider. The provider has explained to us that they are experiencing high volumes of calls and that the consumer needs to just be patient. They only have a few technicians. She has been waiting for almost 2 months to get her wheelchair repaired. #GetItDoneIL
This needs to stop, tomorrow. People with disabilities across the state deserve a budget. #GetItDoneIL !