Ruling means developmentally disabled providers must be paid by state

By Gary Scott on August 12, 2015 at 12:46pm

Disabled services providers in West Central Illinois are breathing a little easier about receiving funding after developments in Chicago on Tuesday.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the administration for Governor Bruce Rauner agreed to release funding to pay for all Medicaid services for the developmentally disabled.

Since the new fiscal year began without a state budget on July 1st, the question of “pay or don’t” pay for various services and organizations has been consistent.

Last Thursday, a joint motion was filed in federal court by the ACLU of Illinois and two other groups asking for the Ligas Consent Decree to be enforced. The 2005 order by U.S. Judge Sharon Coleman mandates the state pay for programs for the disabled who live in private or community institutions.

A federal court yesterday ordered the state to pay for all services, not just some as the Department of Human Services indicated it would do in a letter sent to service providers on July 23rd.

Steve Brundage, the executive director of Pathway Services, says per conversations he’s had with state officials, invoices are being prepared by the state comptroller’s office for payment.

“Well, we haven’t been paid yet, and the state has made promises in the past to agencies like Pathway and not kept them, so I think we’re like a lot of other agencies around the state: we’re not going to count these eggs hatched until we actually see money in the bank,” says Brundage.

“So, we’re still going to operate on the assumption that we don’t have the cash yet. We’re still doing everything we can to conserve cash and to make sure that we can make payroll for the future. So, until we see the money in the bank, we’re not going to change the way we do business.”

Brundage explains that the majority of Pathway’s revenue comes from Medicaid payments. One half of that is federal, with the other half being state.

Pathway employs about 225 individuals.