- JB Pritzker was elected Governor over Bruce Rauner.
- 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 bills reached $16.5 billion and has decrease to about $7.5B.
- State rates for services have not increased for the last 10 years. This year rates were raised enough to provide a $.50 an hour increase for all staff. 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.
- 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
Financial – Elm City
- 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. Grants are consistently being cut in other parts of the state budget. So far the message from DMH is 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.
- Reynolds has been a consistent customer. Their store display sales are up particularly to big box stores nationwide with multiple order runs of 4,000-6,000 cases.
- 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 that we pack, warehouse, shipping
- Rutland has been steady with bricks and fire log kits.
- CCK has been a relatively new customer for various projects.
- Dicky-johns uses us for packed parts/kits.
- We signed 5 year agreement to mow and maintain the grounds at JDC.
- We also mow the youth baseball fields behind American Legion.
- State use personal care products sales to state facilities have remained consistent
- Paper shredding – We are doing about $4,000 a month depending on the recycle market. Customers range from small hand bags to 20 tons.
- We added 19 people from Pittsfield when the DT program there closed.
- We have seen more referrals from BROTHER JAMES COURT in Springfield
- SEVEN COUNTY – We are regularly seeing people in 7 counties around us. The days of being only focused on Morgan County are long gone.
- REFERRALS – We could probably fill 2-3 more CILA houses. We have turned down high numbers of referrals to maintain good home settings for people living in our homes. Like the rest of the state, finding enough staff has remained a serious problem and seriously limits any new programs. 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. Age and health issues have had a serious effect on this group. By the end of the year, we have seen an increase in referrals from organizations who rarely referred to us in the past.
- CILAs have ben full all year.
- We closed an apartment with MCHA when age and illness became more involved. The people we serve moved to the Group Home and another set of apartments Elm City controls.
- 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. Further study is required to determine the financial viability. Our target remains maintaining one person per bedroom.
- Virtually all 8 foot tube lights have been changed to 4 foot LED. Large 400 watt globes were replaced with 100 watt LED globes. Electric bills are coming in lower. The entire change over should be paid for within 1 year.
- LAN – The entire LAN system was replaced with Win10 as a base. The new system is much better.
- SOCIAL CENTER – has really come on in the last portion of year and a place for parties, bingo, and other events. It is used 2-3 nights a week depending on various events.
- The Christmas Cookie party was a huge hit. Dick and Donna Cody had sponsored this event at their home for 25 years and were very happy to see that we got it going again.
- BUSES – We are using Mass Transit more and started to have the CILAs deliver people every day using vans at the homes because vehicles are already there. New ‘used’ busses are hitting the $20,000 range to get good ones.
- 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 insurance and Grojean Insurance with Cincinnati covers agency policies.
- Our prevention programs are working. All staff are trained in CPI, CPR, and first aid.
- Work comp claims are down with our NCCI rating at 1.1. Physical aggression in programs remain low.
- All vehicles are in good mechanical shape and meet all state requirements.
- DT surveys are successful scoring 97%
- 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 discussion to close day programs and workshops in Illinois in 4-5 years. Federal CMS regulations are changing to require further integration into community settings for residential and employment.
- Medicaid managed care started in Morgan County. The Major medical providers primarily signed with Meridian and Blue Cross Blue Shield. The other three MCOs are very small. This program is primarily for people on Medicaid. Most of the people in our Support Services program are Medicaid/Medicare. They are not include yet. I/DD programs are in the MCO system yet. Some people with a DD diagnosis had to choose an MCO for Medical care.
- STAFF – We have been fortunate enough to have hired some terrific staff throughout our programs. Some long term very experienced employees have retired in the last several months. Compared to our peers around the state, our turn over rate is somewhere in the 30% range. There are many peer groups hitting 70% turnover.
- Simply finding new staff is a huge problem due to low state rates and the resulting low salaries
- DSP staff starting salary is now average $11.25 an hour following the latest $0.50 wage increase from DHS. Outside of these salary changes, there has been no state rate adjustment for operational costs for 10 years.
- There was a small Christmas bonus approved by the Board of Directors.
- We still have 30%+ turnover in residential staff.
- Staff retirement plans remains at 6% of salary with no match required. A 401k plan is used by many staff.
- Many staff remain on state Medicaid because that is what they can afford. ACA renewal costs for 2019 skyrocketed in November 2018 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, 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 AKtion club at ECC remains somewhat active.
- Consumers raised over $3,000 to give to various groups in the community.
- Board remains very active in policy affairs of ECC.
- Primary Board meetings were kept at one meeting per month.
- CEO provides a pre-Board meeting letter of ongoing issues and highlight 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.