1. Application |
  2. Eligibility |
  3. Choice |
  4. Vouchers |
  5. Services |
  6. Documentation |
  7. ISTARS |
  8. Payment |
  9. Contact

Application Process

How can my agency get involved with the ATR program?

All providers must complete a written application to be approved, pass a physical plant and life safety inspection at each facility where ATR services will be provided, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA).  If you are interested in becoming an Illinois ATR Provider, please contact the ATR Service Coordinator at 312-814-3701 to request a copy of the application.

How long does it take for an application to be approved?

Typically, it takes about a month to review an application, conduct a life safety inspection of the facilities, and receive and return a signed MOU. However, the application process for each potential provider can be very different. If there are deficiencies found on the application or during the life safety inspection, it can take significantly longer to be approved. Approval happens only after all issues have been resolved.

What kind of faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for ATR involvement?

Illinois ATR does not discriminate against any organizations otherwise eligible to participate in this program on the basis of their religious character or affiliation. Any and all providers are welcome to apply to be a part of the program.


Client Eligibility

How do I know if I have a client that qualifies for ATR?

To be eligible for ATR, clients must be 18 years of age or older and have a history of substance use or abuse in the last 12 months. They must also reside in Cook County or the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 20th Judicial District of Illinois and demonstrate an inability to pay for services as defined by an annual income of 200% or less of the 2010 Federal Poverty Line.

Can clients in correctional work-release programs be entered into ATR?

If an ATR client is locked in a restricted setting at night, they cannot be an ATR client.

I have a client that I believe meets criteria for ATR. How can I help him/her get enrolled into the program?

Please visit the ATR Enrollment Sites page to obtain enrollment site contact information.

If a client has already been enrolled into ATR, can he/she be re-enrolled into the program in order to receive new or additional services?

No. Clients may only enter the ATR program once.


Client Choice

What is the definition of choice between providers?

For the purposes of this grant program, choice is defined as a client being able to choose from among two or more providers qualified to render the services needed by the client, among them at least one provider to which the client has no religious objection.

Do clients get to choose the services they want to receive?

Each client receives an assessment that will determine the appropriate level of care and/or need for services. The client is then provided a genuine, free, and independent choice among eligible providers, among them at least one provider to which the client has no religious objection.

How can I make a client choose my agency?

One of the core ideals behind the ATR program is that clients are offered the independent choice of selecting a provider that best meets their service needs. It is entirely up to the client to choose the provider they want to attend for services. No one can coerce or force a client to choose any provider in which to receive services. Any provider that is found to be threatening, coercing, or bribing clients and/or enrollment staff to choose their facility will face disenrollment from the ATR program.

How will a client be able to find my agency with so many choices available?

At enrollment, each potential client is given access to profiles on all active ATR providers. Each profile contains information regarding the provider's mission, location, staff, and services available at that each location. While enrollers do not choose a provider for the client, they can help the client go through the profile book and assist the client with finding a provider that will meet his or her service needs. In addition, web-based access to photographs of each facility is available, which give clients a visual picture of the provider that might best fit all of their treatment and recovery needs.



What is a voucher and how does it work?

A voucher is an electronic record that allows clients to "purchase" ATR services from a provider of their choice. After a client selects a provider of their choice, the enroller will create an electronic voucher for the client in the ATR voucher management system ISTARS. Services are then added to the voucher, with each service containing a cap (or maximum amount) on the number of sessions or units which can be redeemed by the provider.

How long do vouchers last?

ATR vouchers last for 90 days, starting at the time of enrollment. Additionally, each service on the voucher has its own service cap. The provider is allowed to bill ATR for services provided to the client up to the service cap or up to the 90th day, whichever comes first.

Can I edit vouchers after they are created?

No. Vouchers are created at the time of enrollment and are based upon an assessment of the client's needs. However, if you notice that a voucher in ISTARS does not match the paper copy of the voucher sent to you by the enroller, you should contact the enroller to make any necessary corrections.

How many vouchers can a client have?

A client may have one voucher at each provider they are receiving ATR services. However, multiple services may be assigned to any one voucher (e.g. Transportation and Recovery Coaching at one provider would be on one voucher together).

How much money is available on voucher?

Voucher amounts vary depending upon the services that the client is assessed to need at the time of enrollment. The total voucher amount is based on the maximum cap allotted for each service on the voucher.



How long can clients participate in ATR services?

All ATR vouchers are issued for 90 days starting with the day of enrollment. If a client wants to continue in services at a provider beyond the service cap or beyond the length of the voucher, it is up to the provider and client to discuss alternative solutions that do not include ATR funding.

As a service provider, am I responsible for monitoring and coordinating the total amount of services available to ATR clients?

Yes. Each provider is responsible for monitoring and coordinating the services and voucher funds on behalf of each ATR client.

Can ATR assist with services provided prior to a client's entry into ATR?

No. ATR can only assist with services that take place after the client has been enrolled into the ATR program.

How do I transfer a client to another provider?

Transferring services to another ATR provider can only be done with the approval of DASA ATR staff on a case-by-case basis. Clients or providers should contact the agency's assigned Agency Coordinator to initiate the transfer process.

I have a client that needs help that we are not able to provide. How do I find other providers who can help him/her?

Agencies have a responsibility to assist clients with all of their service needs, including referring clients to other agencies as appropriate. If you need help with finding another provider for a client, please contact the client's enrollment agency for assistance.

What is the definition of a methamphetamine (meth) client?

For those clients who are not coming from a restricted setting, a meth client is a client who has used methamphetamine or ecstasy in the last 90 days prior to enrollment. For those clients who are coming from a restricted setting, a meth client is a client who has used methamphetamine or ecstasy in the 90 days prior to entry into the restricted setting. Methamphetamine or ecstasy does not have to be the client's primary drug of choice in order to be considered a meth client.



Is documentation of services required? If so, what needs to be documented?

Yes. All ATR providers are required to have an organized system to document ATR covered services. Service type, service date, start time, and end time, with a note signed by the service facilitator are required pieces of information for documenting services that take place. Each service note should describe the service subject, what took place, the client's response to the service, and a plan for future services. This documentation must be completed for every ATR service.  All paper documentation for each client should be kept in a separate file that is locked in a secure cabinet at the location the service took place. Sign-in sheets with a start and end time, signed by the client and witnessed by staff, must be completed to document client attendance.

When is a client signature required?

A client signature is required on all sign in and out sheets as well as all transportation logs.

How do I document transportation that is provided to a client?

ATR allows providers to bill for the type of transportation that best fits the client's needs in the geographical area the client resides.

If you are transporting a client by car or van, documentation should include the date the transportation was provided, the start and end point where the client is being transported, as well as exact miles of transport. A printout of the mileage obtained via MapQuest can be accepted as documentation of mileage between two points. A client signature acknowledging that the transportation took place should also be provided. Units of transportation to be billed are determined by multiplying the number of miles by the reimbursable mileage rate ($.405/mile).

If you are providing a client a bus card, documentation should include the type of bus card given to the client, the date the bus card was given, and a client signature acknowledging receipt of the bus card.

For more information about billing for other types of transportation, please contact the ATR Service Coordinator, Rex Alexander, at 312-814-3701 to request an information sheet.

Do ATR records need to be secured?

All ATR records should be secured in a manner that ensures confidentiality and complies with all state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to confidentiality of records.

How long do I need to maintain my ATR records?

Licensed providers shall maintain records consistent with their specific licensure requirements. All other providers must maintain records of ATR provided services for a minimum of five years.

Do ATR providers need policies regarding employees and volunteers?

Yes. All ATR providers must maintain personnel files that document an employee or volunteer is qualified to provide ATR covered services and have policies and procedures in place for any employees or volunteers associated with the provider. The organization must have a code or statement of ethics that guides the performance of personnel who provide client services, and there should be evidence that personnel who provide services to ATR clients received an orientation regarding ATR and client privacy and protection issues.  The organization must also have a system in place for processing and resolving staff grievances.

What other policies and procedures do ATR providers need to maintain?

The organization must have written policies and procedures in place for

  • emergency situations
  • fiscal activities that cover the request, receipt, and disbursement of ATR client service fees
  • processing and resolution of client complaints and grievances
  • providing clients with the opportunity to comment on the services that they receive



Who needs access to ISTARS?

Any staff who are responsible for facilitating services, documenting services, billing for services, as well as those who are responsible for verifying services and billing information should have access to ISTARS. Anyone that will need to reconcile services billed with payments received should also have access to ISTARS.

What information needs to be recorded in ISTARS?

In order to bill for ATR services, all providers must enter encounter information into ISTARS. This includes service type, date of service, start and end time of service, units billed, and service notes.

Do I need to attend training on how to use ISTARS?

Yes. Anyone that will be using ISTARS must be trained by ATR staff before they can be granted access to the system.

If I have already received ISTARS training, may I train other staff members?

No. Every person that needs to access ISTARS must be trained by ATR staff and must have their own individual account established in the system. Any person or provider found to be misusing or sharing accounts and/or passwords is subject to disenrollment from the ATR program.

Who do I call to receive technical assistance or schedule training on ISTARS?

Please contact the ATR ISTARS Specialist Katherine Wilson at 773-320-3704 in order to schedule ISTARS training for staff or to receive technical assistance with using the system.

How long does the ISTARS training last?

It depends. Training time may vary by the level of comfort individuals have with using a computer, by the number of people attending the training, as well as by the status of the computer's operating software and internet speed.

How often are ISTARS trainings scheduled and where do they take place?

ISTARS trainings are scheduled on an as-needed basis. The ATR ISTARS Specialist will schedule training at your facility using your equipment in order to ensure that you are comfortable using the system in your normal working environment.

How much time do I have in order to enter an encounter into ISTARS?

All encounters should be entered into ISTARS within 7 days of the service taking place.

For any other ISTARS related questions, including specific use questions, please contact the ATR ISTARS Specialist, Katherine Wilson.



How are payments processed through ATR?

Individual services are entered into the voucher management system called ISTARS. All encounters entered into ISTARS are batched for payment every Friday evening. Batched payments are then presented to the ATR Project Director for payment authorization, approved by the Illinois Office of the Comptroller, and directly deposited into the provider's bank account or mailed to the provider's designated location.

How long does it take to get reimbursed for services?

The general rule of thumb is that payments will be disbursed to the provider within two to four weeks from the date of data entry into ISTARS. If you are a new provider and DASA is temporarily entering your billing for you, it may take four to six weeks to receive payment. In situations where a provider is not in good standing (e.g. a requested audit has not occurred), additional time may be added before disbursement occurs.

How do I sign up for Direct Deposit?

Please visit the Illinois Office of the Comptroller (IOC) for more information about signing up for direct deposit.

How do I know if I have payments coming and how much they are for?

You can visit the IOC website to see all payments that have been disbursed to your agency.

  • Select "Vendor Payments," then select "Entry Form."
  • Enter the agency's FEIN when prompted.
  • Select "Payments," then select "Find Warrants."

A list will appear that contains the payments the state has made to your agency in the current fiscal year, along with the amount disbursed and the date of payment. Additionally, there is an option to download this report into an Excel file. You can also check what individual services have been paid on each check by viewing the report called "Claims Reconciliation" under the reports section in ISTARS.

What if I don't receive a check listed as issued by Comptroller's Office?

Only the person legally entitled to the original check, or their heirs or a qualified third party may request a replacement check. Submit your request by following the steps on the IOC website.

Is it ever too late to receive payment for services rendered?

Yes. The State of Illinois enforces claim submission deadlines that ensure payments are disbursed in a timely manner so that the state and federal programs can close their accounting books at year's end. The following schedule contains the deadlines for ATR-III encounter submissions:

Fiscal Year End Date of Year Final Claims Submission Date
State FY11 6/30/2011 7/31/2011
Grant FY11 9/30/2011 10/31/2011
State FY12 6/30/2012 7/31/2012
Grant FY12 9/30/2012 10/31/2012
State FY13 6/30/2013 7/21/2013
Grant FY13 9/30/2013 10/31/2013
State FY14 6/30/2014 7/31/2014
Grant FY14 9/30/2014 10/31/2014

How do I receive payment for services provided to clients if I missed the fiscal submission deadline?

If you missed the ATR encounter submission deadline, you will have to go through the Illinois Court of Claims in order to make a request for payment. You can start the process by following the instructions to complete the Claim Request Form.  Please note that a request to receive funds does not guarantee that you will be paid, so it is very important to make sure you abide by the billing deadlines provided. Upcoming deadlines are always announced in advance through email and are posted in the Announcements section in ISTARS.



What are the roles of the ATR team and whom should I contact for what issues?

Please visit the ATR Staff page for more information about who to contact with specific questions.

How can I find out who my coordinator is?

Please visit the Agency Assigned Coordinator page for a list of assigned ATR Coordinators by provider.