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Renaissance Terrace Assisted Living to close due to funding shortfalls, escalating costs

January 6, 2022

The board of the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service (SCHAS) has voted to close Renaissance Terrace Assisted Living, citing funding decisions by the TennCare CHOICES program that will force 45 seniors to leave the affordable care facility and likely resort to more expensive care elsewhere.

SCHAS will continue its long-standing program of home care to 2,000 seniors and disabled persons across East Tennessee but plans to sell the Renaissance Terrace building on North Broadway and move SCHAS’ offices.

“We are losing $30,000 a month,” SCHAS Chief Executive Officer Tim Howell said. “The board and I are saddened to take this step, but the current financial situation is unsustainable. We are going to do everything in our power to help the residents find care at other facilities. It is sad because Renaissance Terrace is a high-quality facility and a very affordable option for our community’s seniors.”

Renaissance Terrace residents and their families have been informed of the closing, which is set for April 15, 2022. Until the closing, SCHAS will help residents identify other care options in the area. Employees are being asked to stay on during that period and are being offered severance packages.

Renaissance Terrace has served the Knoxville area for 13 years with high-quality, affordable care in a modern assisted living facility. As a nonprofit, the SCHAS facility has been a less expensive option for seniors than other long-term care centers.

According to Howell, the facility has experienced sharply increased costs for labor, supplies such as food for residents, and liability insurance mainly because of the pandemic and record inflation. Staffing numbers have dwindled despite recent salary increases to attract and retain employees.

TennCare’s CHOICES program had been paying $1,100 per month for senior care, which is considerably less than the monthly cost of serving a resident at the facility, even though Renaissance Terrace is less expensive than private assisted living facilities and typical nursing home care.

SCHAS asked TennCare CHOICES to increase reimbursement rates. After years of no increases, the state finally raised the funding assistance to $1,305 per month, still less than the cost of care, but with restrictions on how the money could be spent. Facing a crisis, SCHAS asked the agency to provide flexibility to spend the funds where needed the most. TennCare CHOICES refused.

As of this date, the TennCare CHOICES program still has not released the $137,500,000 in new funds to home and community-based services (HCBS), such as Renaissance Terrace, from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

About Renaissance Terrace Assisted Living
Recognizing that there are times when staying at home is no longer a viable option, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service (SCHAS) embraced a service to complement its mission of providing quality care for seniors and those with disabilities by providing affordable assisted living services at Renaissance Terrace. The facility is committed to enriching the quality of life for senior adults while promoting dignity and independence. Our professional and caring staff is dedicated to assisting each resident to thrive in the security of their new home by providing individualized services for wellness and companionship.