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URGENT: Take Action NOW to protect Champaign County Nursing Home

If you are a Champaign County resident, please help protect the Champaign County Nursing Home by calling or e-mailing your County Board Members today, in advance of tonight’s special County Board Meeting. (See Take Action section to learn how you can help.)

Tonight, the County Board is holding a Special Meeting at 6 p.m. to focus on the Champaign County Nursing Home (CCNH) and to approve the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for sale or disposal of the CCNH. Please see below for information about the RFP and why it should be opposed, and also how to take action. Also, at the bottom of this message, there are a number of articles regarding for-profit nursing homes and the likelihood that YOU will end up in a nursing home – these articles are important for understanding why we need to fight so hard to protect the CCNH.

The County Board meets tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the Lyle Shields Meeting Room at Brookens Administrative Center, located at 1776 E. Washington Street in Urbana.

You can see the Agenda and attached materials, including the RFP for tonight’s Special Meeting here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MBqXORpePTimhKyFA7zEKoAiCLa9jSo2/view

About the RFP for sale of the CCNH and why it should be opposed
The main reason that the RFP for sale of the CCNH should be opposed at this point in time is that there has been no public process for input into the development of the RFP. The community’s needs and concerns have not been taken into account.

The timeline for the sale of the CCNH in the RFP states: “Select Qualified Buyer and Close Bidding Process After March 19, 2018 and Before May 1, 2018”. The clock starts ticking tonight!

Here are some items in the RFP that deserve greater scrutiny, discussion and input:

Sale Terms: The RFP states that a minimum acceptable purchase proposal is $11 million dollars. Has there been a valuation of the CCNH? There should be greater transparency about any valuation of the CCNH and how this amount was arrived at.

 

Longevity of nursing home: The RFP requires that the purchaser maintain the facility for 10 years. Is 10 years acceptable to the community, after the nursing home has been in operation in our community for approximately 100 years?

Commitment to rehire all of the existing employees who pass a background check, not terminate 10% or more of the employees within the first 60 days following the Closing Date and not terminate 20% or more of the current employees during the first 6 months after Closing Date…:  Are these terms acceptable to the community? Is the community willing to tolerate the possibility of up to 30% layoffs of current employees within the first 6 months?

Priorities for admissions for Champaign County residents: Champaign County residents will be given first priority for admission to the nursing home for a period of 10 years. Is this acceptable, after the nursing home has been in our community for approximately 100 years? Our taxpayer dollars have supported the nursing home all these years, yet priority for admission if you’re a Champaign County resident will only extend for 10 years under this RFP.

Set aside of a minimum of 50% of the beds for Medicaid patients for no less than 10 years: Is this acceptable? Should the set aside be higher? Should it specify Champaign County residents? These issues should be discussed publicly.

Public accountability: There is no requirement in the RFP for public accountability. The RFP merely states “An issue of concern to the County in any potential sale is reduced public accountability for the operations of the CCNH, and the related issues of how responsible or accountable a new owner would be to the public. How will the Proposer address that issue (i.e., how will it propose to work with and be accountable to the community)?”  The community may want to have actual requirements for public accountability, even as it may solicit ideas from the Proposer.

The RFP does not address the Adult Day Care Program: One of the programs that the CCNH has been providing is an Adult Day Care program for community members. What happens to this program if the CCNH is sold? Are there any provisions that could be made to maintain this program?

The bottom line is this:  Our community should have some say and input into the RFP. There should be greater transparency in the development of the RFP.

Take Action to Protect the Champaign County Nursing Home
Please take action today by sending e-mails and/or making phone calls to the County Board Chair and to your two County Board representatives. You can also attend tonight’s County Board Special Meeting at 6:00 p.m. at Brookens (1776 E. Washington Street in Urbana) and speak during Public Participation. Here is the agenda for tonight’s meeting:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MBqXORpePTimhKyFA7zEKoAiCLa9jSo2/view

Take Action – Here is the message:
Contact your County Board Members with this message:
I urge you to reject the proposed RFP for the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home. There should be more of a public process, and public input, into developing the RFP. The CCNH belongs to all of us, and we should have a say into the sale of this valued community asset. 

(Feel free to add to this message with your personal opinion, experience, or other information detailed in this message.)

Please also contact the County Board Chair, Pius Weibel, with the same message:
Home: 398-6117 / Cell: 840-5367 / E-mail: cweibel@co.champaign.il.us

Figuring out who your County Board Members are:
If you are not sure who your County Board Members are, or how to contact them, you can find the information online.

Here is the list of County Board Members with maps so you can see their districts and find your own members:
https://www.champaigncountyclerk.com/government/countyboard-members

Reasons that we should worry about selling CCNH to a private for-profit company:
Private nursing homes engaging in certain business transactions have the worst outcomes for patients:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/business/nursing-homes-care-corporate.html

More than 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care services at some point in their lives, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And many of us will have to rely on Medicaid to pay for the costs:
http://online.wsj.com/ad/article/longtermcare-future

Regardless of contracts, provisions, and fines, private for-profit nursing homes are not guaranteed to stay open – in fact, in the last few months, several Illinois private for-profit nursing homes closed abruptly without proper notice to residents:

Lincoln Manor nursing home closure – Decatur – Sept. 2017
http://herald-review.com/news/local/lincoln-manor-healthcare-closing-leaving-residents-employees-scrambling/article_f635df8b-c135-586a-af58-7912b295e1f2.html

Oak Terrace nursing home closure – Springfield – Sept. 2017
http://www.sj-r.com/news/20171021/families-advocates-still-frustrated-by-nursing-homes-abrupt-closure

Prairie View Center nursing home closure – Lewistown (Peoria area) – Sept. 2017
http://www.week.com/story/36256437/lewistown-nursing-home-closing-its-doors

Background information on the CCNH:
The Champaign County Nursing Home (CCNH) is an important community health asset, but it is in financial distress largely as a result of the State of Illinois’ failures to make Medicaid payments.

What’s happening with the CCNH
The County Board is moving quickly on a path toward selling the CCNH (most likely to a for-profit corporation), following the outcome of the two Nursing Home referenda this past April. One referendum on the ballot asked about raising property taxes to help fund the Nursing Home. It failed. The other referendum asked about the sale or “disposal” of the Nursing Home. It passed.

Did you know that the referenda are not binding? That’s right. The County Board does not have to sell or dispose of the CCNH, based on the referendum outcome.  However, the financial difficulties remain.

The question is: might it be possible that the CCNH could be turned around financially, and not have to be sold? With a new management company that specializes in helping distressed nursing homes, and with community involvement to help the CCNH, we believe it could be possible!

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) Position on the CCNH
CCHCC believes that we, as a community, should work to save the Champaign County Nursing Home. Selling this important public health care asset to a for-profit corporation would be a tremendous loss to our community, and there are many reasons to fear a decline in quality of care. To learn more about CCHCC’s position on the Champaign County Nursing Home, and why we supported a property tax increase and opposed the referendum to sell or dispose of the CCNH, please see our action alert from March of this year:

http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=837955483e17bc69cfb8a185b&id=592d5cc025&e=587514921c

Thank you for taking action to protect the Champaign County Nursing Home!I

 

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