Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop! By now most of you have probably heard the news that I am planning to retire as of June 1, 2018. My last day will be May 31, 2018. I wanted to try to reach out personally to as many of you as possible, but in these days of email, cell phones and texting, I learned first-hand that "News travels fast." Below is a reproduction of the written communication that was sent out yesterday.

"I wanted you to hear directly from me that I am officially retiring from state service on Thursday, May 31, 2018. I want you to know that it has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve as the Division Director for the past three years. This decision was not an easy one, but rather one that took a great deal of consideration. Many have told me that when it's time to leave, you'll know it. And I believe that is true because I feel it in my heart and in my soul.

Reflecting back on my years with the Division, it is quite apparent how rewarding and enriching an experience it has been. Rarely does a day go by when I don't count my blessings for being given the opportunity to serve you. And for that I want to publicly thank Secretary Dimas for giving me the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization during this important time in the Division's history.

In my remaining days, I look forward to working closely with all of you to finalize as many projects as I can. I also plan to get to as many locations as I possibly can to say goodbye and to thank you for your many contributions to the system and the people we serve. I have had the privilege of working with so many caring and committed people who inspired me each and every day and provided regular reminders of the power and beauty of the human spirit. Your passion for our important work has been a constant source of inspiration.

As we finalize details about the transition, we will of course keep all of you up to date to ensure the transition is transparent and seamless. I want to thank you all for your unwavering support over the years and I trust that you will continue to support the Division during this upcoming transition.

Thank you for your patience with me and thank you for the opportunity to grow with you."

Update on Critical Incident Reporting and Analysis System and Capacity Management Application

The Division continues efforts related to enrolling providers into the Critical Incident and Reporting Analysis System (CIRAS) and Capacity Management Application (CMA). Approximately 302 providers are enrolled in CIRAS and CMA. For those providers not yet enrolled, we ask that you complete and send the enrollment forms to Sherry Hinds at Sherry.Hinds@Illinois.gov.

The CIRAS system has completed a migration to a new environment. CIRAS users need to utilize the new link in order to access CIRAS database. The new link is: https://ciras2.dhs.illinois.gov/cirassecure/ciras. All Independent Service Coordination Agency agencies have now been enrolled in CIRAS and should be receiving notifications from the CIRAS system of critical incident reports. CIRAS reporting is required for incidents involving participants in the State's Medicaid Waiver programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. As a reminder, CIRAS user's passwords expire every 60 days. Providers are encouraged to set a reminder so that they may change their passwords on time. Otherwise, their access to the CIRAS database may be delayed. The Division will increase efforts to identify and assist those providers that require CIRAS enrollment and reporting. Additional CIRAS information can be found on the DHS Website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=97358.

The Capacity Management Application allows providers the ability to post vacancy information to allow individuals seeking services the ability to search DD statewide service capacity. The Capacity Management Application link can be found at: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=81789. To search CMA, please follow the instructions cited on the linked page. CMA allows the following types of providers the ability to post vacancy notifications: Child Care Institution (CCI); Community Living Facility (CLF); Support Employment Program (SEP); Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ICFDD), Child Group Home (CGH) and Community Day Services/Developmental Training/C (DT).

Availability of Dental Services

The Division frequently receives questions on how the individuals we serve can receive dental services and find providers that will accept Medicaid. The Division currently has four grantees that provide dental services throughout the state:

Advocate Northside Health Network, Chicago, IL 60657

Belmont Medical and Dental, 5611 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60634

Milestone Incorporated, 275 North Phelps Avenue, Rockford, IL 67142

United Cerebral Palsy Seguin of Greater Chicago, Chicago, IL 60804

Tahney Fletcher, within the Bureau of Program Support, has worked with the Illinois Primary Healthcare Association (IPHCA), to identify a list of Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs) that provide dental services to Medicaid recipients. The list has been provided to Region Staff and numerous others within the Division. We hope to have this list out on the IDHS-DDD website soon. Please stay tuned!!

Redetermination Issues

The Division has been hearing from many of our providers and families about issues with redetermination paperwork. We have held two meetings with leadership from IDHS-Division of Family and Community Services and Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. We are working very hard to resolve the various problems families are experiencing.

The new system, Integrated Eligibility System (IES), used for application processing and case management, is much more advanced than the previous system used by casework staff at IDHS and HFS. Many of the processes which were manual in the past are now automated.

Phase 2 of IES, which was launched in October, auto-populates and mails out the redetermination forms with a due date of 30 days. If the redetermination is not received in IES within 20 days, the system then sends a reminder the redetermination is due. If the redetermination is still not returned, the system automatically cancels the case. Please note that as information is updated in IES, many medical cases may qualify for auto-redetermination. You can find redetermination policy in PM 19-02-04 of the policy manual.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities and All Kids are committed to providing proficient customer service to the DD waiver community. If a redetermination has resulted in case cancellation and the customer is in need of a quick resolution, please contact Jennifer Frescura at All Kids via email at Jennifer.frescura@illinois.gov. Ms. Frescura will send a new redetermination if required - or accept completed redeterminations to have the case reinstated quickly.

PLEASE NOTE: The above contact is only suitable for All Kids issues. We are working to identify contacts for other similar programs and will provide them as we can.

Fiscal Agent Request for Proposal (RFP)

The State of Illinois, through the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities, is soliciting bids from qualified vendors to operate as a Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent, in accordance with applicable IRS codes and notices as well as the Division's rules and regulations. The successful vendor will provide fiscal, payroll and bill payment services for individuals receiving services through the Home and Community-based Waiver and their representatives, who hire their own direct support persons directly.

The RFP was posted last week. Questions on the RFP must be submitted by March 6, 2018 and the due date for submitting a proposal is April 5. Here is the link to the website where the RFP is published:


State Operated Developmental Center Operations News

Choate Center: Choate Center is beginning the process of transitioning from foods that are prepared days in advance (frozen, thawed, and reheated on the units/kitchen) to hot foods. This new process will involve the daily preparation of meals that are then served fresh on the units. The Dietary Department has been hard at work making the necessary preparations to achieve this great milestone. The residents and staff will notice fresh-made foods that smell and taste great. The Dietary Department has always worked hard making great food, but unfortunately our process of cooking in advance, freezing and reheating often degrades the quality and taste of the food. A "hot food" trial run was completed on February 16, 2018 for all living units. The preliminary feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Fox Center: Fox Center was contacted by Kent Bugg, Superintendent of Coal City School District, who offered upcoming musical and band concerts as well as outdoor events free of charge to Fox individuals. Coal City High School is wheelchair accessible -both inside the building and outside the grounds. Fox staff will be able to view the athletic/events calendar and reserve events that we are interested in attending. This wonderful opportunity was arranged by the Parents' Group President.

Kiley Center: The Center held a Black History Month luncheon on February 21. Staff enjoyed a variety of food and art displays.

Ludeman Center: The Employee Recognition Wellness Committee recently presented a Black History program. The guest speaker was Hermene Hartman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Hartman Publishing Group. Hermene publishes the magazine N'Digo. One individual from Unit Three recited the Lord's Prayer.

Mabley Center: Eighteen Special Olympics athletes attended a recent special Residents' Council meeting. Topics included choosing events that the athletes would like to participate in. Rules of conduct were also reviewed. Everyone is excited to start practicing.

Murray Center: We would like to thank Marge Scott for her donation of the lap quilts, blankets and hats that she made available to our individuals. These are all hand-made and the hats are crocheted. The individuals have enjoyed wearing them during the colder days.

Shapiro Center: Individuals who participate in Best Buddies attended a Valentine Party at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Individuals spent quality time with their matched buddies, making crafts, exchanging valentines and socializing with peers. A good time was had by all.