Last Friday, the Plaintiffs and Intervenors filed a joint motion in federal court asking the Court to find that Illinois has failed to comply with the Ligas Consent Decree.
The basic argument is that the State has failed to increase reimbursement rates to providers of ICF/DD and CILA services in over nine years, while costs have continually increased. This has caused severe hardships for providers. In order to stay in operation, many providers have had to cut costs by reducing services and have had to keep wages for their direct care staff low, which has caused increased turnover of staff and difficulty filling vacant positions. The result is that individuals with developmental disabilities are not receiving the services they require, are losing skills, are suffering increased depression and anxiety, and are acting out in ways that are harmful to themselves and others.
The motion and attached exhibits document all of these issues. You can click here to view them. We ask the Court to order the State to bring itself into compliance with the Decree and to increase rates to a level that permits the restoration of needed services. The effort to pull all the evidence together required the cooperation of providers and families across the state. Bill Choslovsky and I, representing the Intervenors (those who wish to continue living in ICF/DDs), worked closely with the lawyers for Equip for Equality and the ACLU, representing the Plaintiffs (those who wish to be served in community settings). In this instance we have a common interest and we are stronger working together.
Misericordia is very fortunate. While it is certainly affected by the low reimbursement rates - the gap between what the State pays and what it costs Miz to meet the needs of its residents is now $20 million a year - Misericordia’s strong family association and its wide circle of friends allow it to fill the gap and continue to provide excellent services to its residents. Other providers are not so fortunate.
The State has until May 8 to respond to our motion. We will then have until May 22 to reply. The judge said that she will try to issue her ruling by the end of the summer.
For those who are interested in reading the motion and exhibits, here is a link to the filing. [Jim, please put the link here.]
Scott M. Mendel
K&L Gates LLP
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Chicago, IL 60602
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