Official Early Intervention Taskforce Report
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Bureau of Early Intervention


Recommendations:

Recommendation #8
The Bureau of Early Intervention will undertake a number of activities designed to enhance the current system of quantitative monitoring, including:

  1. improve the consistency of monitoring and assure that policies are communicated clearly to all parties involved in the monitoring process;
  2. assure the availability of appropriate technical assistance, training, supervision, and mentoring;
  3. design and implement a mechanism to accurately and systematically identify and track children who are waiting for services;
  4. develop measures by which to measure the performance of the Central Billing Office (CBO), including Customer Service measures, and
  5. develop an anonymous "tip line" for all stakeholders to report concerns.

Background

The Part C Early Intervention Program has in place a system of quantitative monitoring that includes multiple components, including: (1) data review and analysis, (2) onsite monitoring and record review, and (3) complaint investigation. Data review and analysis and complaint investigation are conducted, in large part, by the Bureau of Early Intervention directly. Onsite monitoring and record review are conducted by an authorized agent of the Bureau of Early Intervention, which has been responsible for the Early Intervention Technical Assistance and Monitoring project for 6 years.

Rationale for Recommendation

  • It has been reported that current monitoring activities are inconsistent and that policies and procedures regarding monitoring are unclear.
  • It has been further reported that policies and procedures are implemented inconsistently, meaning that things work differently from CFC to CFC - making it difficult for providers to know what to expect or what is expected of them in one CFC versus another.
  • The current monitoring system manually tracks children who are waiting for services. This tracking system does not provide the state or stakeholders with sufficient information to make meaningful program policy decisions to address service delays. Further, services that are not available are not included in the electronic copy of the eligible child's Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which prevents comprehensive service planning.
  • Providers report dissatisfaction with CBO operations specifically related to payment denials based on system errors and provider billing errors. This has the potential to impact (and may have already impacted) provider recruitment and retention. CBO functions related to benefit verification, insurance waivers and insurance exemptions also impact families by potentially delaying the implementation of services if held up or mishandled.

Required Actions

  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will explore options for widely communicating policy and procedure in order to improve consistency in interpretation and implementation. This may include posting information regarding policies, procedures, national guidance, etc. on a WIKI or other broad-spectrum communication device that is available to all stakeholders.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will reinstate the preparation and dissemination of quarterly data and information reports, as required by 325 ILCS 20/13.50 of the Illinois Early Intervention Service Systems Act.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will explore promising practices, like those in place at CFC 2, that focus technical assistance, peer review and consultation, and policy communication and/or clarification on the "front-end" of IFSP service planning.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will modify the data management system (Cornerstone) to allow for the authorization of all early intervention services agreed upon by the IFSP team, regardless of availability, and will use this authorization data to track and analyze service delays. The Bureau of Early Intervention will assure that services that are authorized, but unavailable, will not be subject to family participation fees.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will work with the IICEI to develop and conduct a customer satisfaction survey designed to evaluate satisfaction with CBO operations and target strategies for improvement.