- The state’s financial status remains poor. Through the year the state’s credit rating was dropped several times for the third year in a row.
- A state budget was finally approved after 2 ½ years.
- The court decree by US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman remains in effect that Illinois must make Medicaid payments for Ligas v. Norwood class members / beneficiaries at FY15 levels.
- State employee pension debt is approximately $130B which is the worst in the nation.
- The State’s unpaid vendor bills reached $16.5 billion.
- The sale of state use products has remained stable.
- State rates for services have not increased for the last 10 years. In September rates were raised enough to provide a $.75 an hour increase for all staff going back to August 1. This required a DDD rate increase and a 3% DMH rate increase. 100% of the funding increase was a pass through basis to cover staff salary increases plus 20% for fringe.
- The push for $15 an hour minimum wage for DSP staff remains supported in the General Assembly, but finding the funding remains the key issue.
- Elm City itself remains in very good financial shape. Investment return as a weighted average has remained about 1.5%. We have no debt. We do not qualify for expedited payments and have never used a credit line.
- Our Supported Residential 830 is our one grant package. So, DMH indicates 830 programs will not be touched.
- Late payment penalties are still in effect for the state of Illinois at a rate of 1% per month for bills over 90 days old. We have been paid penalty fees for non-Medicaid services provided to the state.
- The sale of state use products has remained stable.
- eynolds has been a consistent customer. Their store display sales are up, particularly to big box stores with multiple order run of 4,000-6,000 cases.
- Dickey-johns remains small, but consistent customer
- Two new start-up companies have gone into a partnership with Elm City. We essentially function as their world headquarters.
- Serious Organic Lip Balm became a steady customer in late 2016. We manufacture, warehouse, and ship all of their product.
- SmashToast of Springfield markets the Puck. It is manufactured by CCK in Jacksonville and we provide packaging, warehouse, shipping
- ECC maintained the 61 acres of grounds at the former JDC (mowing and grounds keeping). Consumers are paid $10 hr. while using three 6 foot and one 5-foot deck John Deere zero turn mowers and trimming with smaller power equipment.
- Paper shredding continues to develop ranging from 20 ton shipments from firms to small bags of personal checks from walk-in customers.
- Day program numbers are averaging about 105 people, but the end of the year we were at 110 people.
- With the closure of JDC, referrals had moved from 60+ a year to a much smaller pool of people that is shared with Pathway.
- We have started taking referrals from out of county residents.
- The CILAs became full in October. We still get 1-2 referrals a week for CILA services. We had turned high numbers of referrals down to maintain good home settings for people living in our homes. Referrals had high incidents of violence, theft, property damage, elopement, police involvement and basic unmanageable behavior.
- Support services has seen a drop in referrals as people move from the area for age and health issues. At the same time we have seen an increase in referrals from organizations who rarely referred to us in the past.
- We maintain a complete insurance package for staff coverage (health, dental, life) and agency coverage (work comp, liability, occupancy, director/officer, auto, boiler, accident, profit sharing, and contract). Roxanne Myers handles staff health insurance and Grojean Insurance with Cincinnati covers agency policies.
- All staff are trained in CPI, CPR, and first aid. Work comp claims are down and our NCCI rating is at 1.1. Physical aggression in programs remains low.
- All vehicles are in good mechanical shape and meet all state requirements
- No further CILA homes were developed. Homes cost close to $300,000 to buy and remodel to regulations.
- Heating units on the Walnut Admin building roof were replaced after multiple pin holes were found in the heat exchangers. Age and use simply caught up.
- We have looked seriously at expanding the bedrooms at Westfair and Appomatox. Funding issues become very complex for 1-4 bed homes vs. 5-8 bed homes. Our target remains maintaining one person per bedroom.
- Production lights will be replaced with LED tubes in 2018 through an Ameren project
- The ECC Social Center has remained closed due to funding limitations in the DMH capacity grants. It is being used as a free thrift store by Grounds of Grace for people involved with human trafficking.
- Three year CARF accreditation was obtained in 2016. This is good until 2019 and totals over 30 years with CARF.
- DT surveys are successful scoring 95%-99%
- The CILA/medication administration review done by BQM scored 95%.
- Trips to the community remain high. There are regular shopping trips for many people. There are also many trips to events and other community settings.
- Equally important is the future of day programs and workshops in 4-5 years.
- Federal CMS regulations are changing to require further integration into community settings for residential and employment. USDOL now has a policy requiring career counseling 1-2 times a year based on age as an alternative to eliminating 14c min wage regs. There are programs similar to Elm City which have stepped away from workshop based models.
- At the end of the year DMH announced plans to move DMH programs to Medicaid managed care. It is scheduled to start in Morgan County by April 1 2018. It will require that the local hospitals and physician practices groups sign contacts with the MCOs.
- Average DSP wage in Illinois is $9.35. Elm City pays $10 just to get better staff. The rate increase discussed above allowed roughly a $.75 hr. increase for staff.
- Finding 6-8 staff for each residential home has become more difficult due to wages allowed under current state payment rates. It is a problem state wide.
- A Christmas bonus approved by the Board of Directors.
- Staff turnover is 30%+ in residential programs and under 10% in all other.
- Staff retirement plans includes a 6% of salary with no match required plus a 401k plan where staff can set aside whatever pre-tax amount they wish.
- Health insurance remains a problem. Many staff remain on state Medicaid because that is what they can afford. ACA renewals for 2018 skyrocketed by 30%-50%.
- ECC remains very involved in community activities.
- The ECC tent is used for free by 10-12 organization throughout the area.
- We are involved with Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Braggin’ Rights BBQ, numerous Boards, bell ringing for Salvation Army, diapers for Haiti, golf outings, many community groups many of who have nothing to do directly with ECC.
- The Kiwanis based AKtion club at ECC remains somewhat active.
- Consumers raised over $3,000 to give to various groups in the community
- Primary Board meetings were kept at one meeting per month.
- CEO provides a pre-Board meeting letter of ongoing issues and highlighted topics are covered at the monthly meeting.
- Board is made up of very diverse professionals, family, and members with disabilities.
- Controversial topics are discussed openly and often.
- The Board does not micro manage daily organizational operations, but does expect performance guideline to be followed.
- The Board reviews and recommends all financial operations, makes policy changes as needed, and approves/edits operational plans that directly affect staff and consumers at ECC.