California Association for Adult Day Services (WHPR Crisis Communications)

Like many California non-profits and associations, the California Association for Adult Day Services (CAADS) represented hundreds of members, statewide, who faced the shuttering of their businesses during another California budget crisis during the spring and summer of 2008.  To prepare for what was coming, in 2007 CAADS contacted WHPR to raise awareness of the plight of their members, mostly Mom and Pop community adult centers in middle and lower income communities.

In addition to WHPR’s work in placing news stories in mainstream news media, WHPR suggested a training session for members to help them learn how to reach out to their local community newspapers.  In a training session before the entire CAADS membership, WHPR helped members create sound bites, consider approaches to local media and encouraged them to reach out and talk with existing community supporters to back advocacy efforts.  WHPR worked with CAADS executive leadership to frame messages, strategize on tactics for advocacy and lobbying, and developed strategies to keep CAADS name in the news media to enhance overall advocacy efforts and maintain membership.

WHPR’s advocacy campaign on behalf of CAADS reinforced the crisis CAADS and its partners were going through and elevated their advocacy efforts in Sacramento, the result of which was that while funding went down, members’ companies were protected from closure.

California Embroiled in a Battle Over the Budget
By Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times
Published: August 14, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Each August in California, there are several givens: Succulent heirloom tomatoes will overflow in farmer’s markets. A fire will rage somewhere. And state lawmakers will fight over the budget, weeks after the deadline for its closing.

Most states have a fiscal year that begins on July 1. California is the only one of those that has yet to hammer out a budget, as legislators wrangle over how to close a budget gap of roughly $15 billion.

…Outside of the layoffs, the pinch is being felt statewide. Vendors that have been cut off from the state are in a worse position this year than in previous years, because the tightening credit market makes it harder to get the short-term loans they need to get through the state’s budget impasse.

(CAADS member)  Nina Nolcox, who owns Graceful Senescence, which provides nursing care and therapy to the elderly in South Los Angeles, has already cut her payroll to deal with the 10 percent Medicaid cut and cash deferrals from the government in June.

This week she got her last check from Sacramento until the budget is signed. Roughly 70 percent of her business comes from clients paid for by state programs. Cuts to her staff’s hours, she said, are next…

(Read more)

Elder Care May Suffer from State Budget Cuts
Published: March 26, 2008

The state budget crisis has forced many programs to cut funding by at least 10 percent.  One such agency is the California Department of Aging.  The lack of funding means many local residents who rely on the center are out of luck but they’re not going down without a fight.

Ever since Schwarzenegger announced his plan to balance the budget more seniors are speaking out.  Within his plan is a 10 percent reduction to adult day health care services like those provided at Elder Life in East Bakersfield.  Elder Life may survive the budget cuts since it is under the umbrella of Kern Medical Center but that doesn’t mean that their clients won’t feel the impact.

There are over 65 clients that rely on the services provided by elder life. The youngest being 32 years old the oldest being 92. They all say that without the program their lives would be completely different.

State Budget Woes Hurt Many Vendors, Senior Services
Melanie Turner, Sacramento Business Journal
Published: August 15, 2008

The tardy state budget prompted the owner of an East Sacramento adult day health care center to take out loans in excess of $100,000 to keep his business afloat and dozens of injured, disabled and elderly patients out of emergency rooms.

At Robertson Adult Day Health Care, 90 percent of patients rely on Medi-Cal, a state-federal program that provides insurance to low-income and disabled people. These days, that puts the company in a tight spot.

The state Legislature, in the face of a $15.2 billion budget deficit, passed a law that reduced Medi-Cal reimbursement to health care providers by 10 percent, effective July 1. The cuts are being challenged in a lawsuit brought by the California Hospital Association.

But health care and senior-services providers aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch.

The state controller is prevented from paying most vendors for goods and services provided after July 1 when no budget is in place. The state does about $9 billion in business a year with thousands of outside vendors, said the Department of General Services. If vendor payments stay on hold throughout August, it would delay about $512 million in vendor checks…

(Read more)