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The Suburbanite
  • Bankrupt Trillium to lose service contracts with Stark County

  • A Stark County funding board prepares to transfer Trillium Family Solutions’ service contracts to three other providers.

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  • Three local social-service agencies were approved to eventually assume some of the behavioral-health services provided by the bankrupt Trillium Family Solutions.
    Stark County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board approved resolutions Tuesday to have $417,225 in service contracts transferred to the other agencies for the balance of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.
    “What is included in these resolutions is roughly four and a half months of allocations,” John Aller, executive director of the county Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, said.
    The county board has maintained a contract with Trillium Family Solutions at 624 Market Ave. N to provide mental-health services for local residents who lack the appropriate insurance or Medicaid.
    A federal bankruptcy judge is expected to terminate that contract, and then the other three social-service agencies will be cleared to assume Trillium’s caseload.
    “At that point they are no longer to be providing services to clients that we fund,” said Stephanie Fakelis, director of business operations for the county Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. “So, (for the time) Trillium will continue to see the clients. They will continue to provide the services until that contract is terminated.”
    Trillium has been financially stressed to the point where its board of directors agreed to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday.
    The three agencies which will pick up Trillium’s contracts with the Stark County funding board are: Coleman Professional Services ($372,975), Stark County TASC ($28,125) and Community Services of Stark County ($16,125).
    Coleman, which has an office at 400 Tuscarawas St. W, will take over much of Trillium’s caseload of mental-health outpatient counseling and guardianship services.
    TASC (formerly Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities), at 1375 Raff Road SW, is taking over the Polaris project. This is a program involving Canton Municipal Court where certain misdemeanor offenders receive counseling for mental-health and substance-abuse issues.
    And Community Services of Stark County at 625 Cleveland Ave. NW takes over a counseling program for middle school students within Canton City Schools.
    “Trillium is in a position where it can’t continue due to a number of factors,” attorney Anthony DeGirolamo, representing Trillium, said. “Most important, it is a cash-flow issue. Collections aren’t coming in at a fast enough rate.”
    During a Tuesday meeting of the county Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, it was mentioned that Trillium was to the point where it needed help making its payroll.
    Some of that help came from Coleman Professional Services, which is expected to hire much of the Trillium staff.
    The county funding board also made an advance payment of $95,000 to Trillium during the course of the current fiscal year, which began July 1, 2012.
    “In retrospect, I don’t think I would have done anything differently,” Adriann Thornberry, a member of the county funding board, said. “We had to give them time, we had to give them support to get them through that situation.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The county funding board normally would not pay Trillium in advance. Payments normally would be made through claim submissions for services rendered.
    The county funding board pays the service fees for hundreds of Trillium clients who lack insurance or Medicaid.
    Trillium also receives funding from other sources.
    Trillium’s revenue stream was, “by and large, all government reimbursements,” DeGirolamo said. “Most of their money does come from government agencies. These are not private-pay clients. These are not people that Trillium could hire an attorney like me and chase. The majority of their money is government reimbursements for services they provide.”
    Tuesday’s action by the county funding board, in a sense, put an existing plan on a fast track. Coleman Professional Services was to acquire the assets of Trillium by May 1.
    “This is a different type of (bankruptcy) reorganization where at the end Trillium will not have operations left,” DeGirolamo said. “When the process is done, the clients will continue to receive services. It will just be through a different agency.”