SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that the troubled Lincoln Developmental Center will remain open, but will be downsized to 100 residents under a corrective action plan that calls for moving 40 percent of the facility’s residents to new small group homes on the LDC campus.
“In making this decision, my first and only concern is the safety of the residents at LDC and the quality of care that they receive,” Ryan said. “Under this plan, LDC will be smaller. It will provide a safer environment. And it will offer a better care setting for the residents, who depend on us for their well being.”
The Governor’s plan will require moving 159 residents from LDC to other care settings in order to meet the new resident population target. Since last fall, 132 LDC residents have been moved or are in the process of moving to other appropriate care settings in Illinois.
The downsizing plan will coincide with a request by DHS to enter into negotiations with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems to stop the de-certification hearing process that is currently underway. These negotiations will include a request for a new federal survey of LDC that will decide whether the facility maintaining federal and state standards.
“No one can deny that there have been a series of problems at LDC. For almost 20 years, Lincoln has struggled to maintain state and federal standards,” the governor added.
If LDC is decertified, or the current administrative hearing lasts until mid-March, the facility will no longer be part of Medicaid. In some cases, federal regulators have agreed to stop hearings and “re-survey” a troubled facility, providing another chance to prove that it meets federal standards of care.
Ryan also announced plans to continue the development of small group homes on the LDC campus. The current state budget contains $2.5 million to construct four small group homes, that will house 10 residents each. These new homes should be ready for occupancy next year. In addition, Ryan ordered DHS to develop long-range plans for the construction of six more small group homes on the LDC campus.
“In making this decision, I have listened to the parents and guardians of Lincoln residents,” the Governor said. “I have listened to parents who want to keep Lincoln open and unchanged. But I have also listened to parents who want the facility closed down because they are concerned for the safety of their loved ones.”
For those parents interested in alternative care settings separate from the LDC campus, Ryan directed DHS to explore the construction of brand new Community Integrated Living Arrangements – CILAs -- off of the Lincoln campus in Logan County and potentially Mason County.
“I have visited the facility. I have listened to the concerns of LDC staff and the union that represents them. And I have consulted experts in the field that operate well-run facilities elsewhere in the state,” Ryan said. “That’s why it has been difficult for me to dismiss the findings of state and federal inspectors since the 1980s and the troubling letters and reports I have read about problems with the care at LDC.
“The solution I am ordering today will create a safer and more manageable situation for the residents of the Lincoln Developmental Center. And this solution will put Lincoln on the forefront of our commitment to care for persons with developmental disabilities, instead of leaving them in the background,” Ryan added. “This course of action is the best course for them. That is what I care about.”