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Heartis: “We have not gotten any state or federal help”

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Heartis Village Peoria is responding to questions about a COVID-19 service fee.

In June, the Executive Director at Heartis sent a letter to residents and their families, detailing a one-time service fee of $750 to cover added costs of PPE, testing, and labor costs.

On Wednesday, a second letter was sent out, providing more details into why the charge is being added to residents' billing statements.

Exec. Director Laurie Reed writes,

"Heartis Village is a licensed assisted living facility and unlike nursing homes, we are a private facility and do not qualify for any state or federal financial support. In the months since the start of COVID-19, we have incurred close to $100,000 of additional expenses associated with PPE supplies, staff member hazard pay and bonuses.

To date, we have not received any PPE supplies from the Illinois Emergency Management Association."

As a result, the letter says they have no choice but to try to recoup some of those costs with that service fee.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Attorney General's office confirmed that it is "likely" that private facilities would have to pay for things like PPE and hiring additional staff for enhanced cleaning.

Senior Press Secretary Annie Thompson told 25 News their office has not received any complaints about Heartis but encouraged any concerned parties to file a complaint.

You can fill out that form here.

Thompson adds that if facilities plan to pass COVID-19 related costs along to residents, any fees should be disclosed immediately.

Thompson said the Attorney General's office is aware of a similar situation in Highland, a small town near St. Louis.

Sheridan Swathwood

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