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Illinois Home Care Program on the Verge of Collapse

March 14, 2013

Illinois’ Community Care Program (CCP) will run out of money on March 15, jeopardizing the home care needs of thousands of vulnerable state residents.

CCP offers home and community-based services for an estimated 80,000 elders and people disabilities in Illinois through a network of local providers.

Funds for the program will zero out on March 15, two and a half months before the end of the fiscal year.

Unless emergency funding is apportioned, many CCP providers will be forced to lay off workers, while others may close completely, Reuters reported on March 8.

Bob Thieman, the executive director of the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Home Care Providers, which represents 40 local CCP providers, told Reuters that thousands of elders would likely be forced back into institutional settings, instead of their preferred home care settings.

“The state’s going to pay for this one way or another,” Thieman said. “If these seniors cannot be picked up by other in-home providers, they’re going to wind up in nursing homes, which will cost a lot more.”

In order to temporarily maintain the solvency of CCP, Thieman’s organization has requested a supplemental appropriation of $173 million from the state.

— by Matthew Ozga

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