The DDD Scoop (7-16-15)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

The DDD Scoop Newsletter

Payments for Services to Comply with Consent Decrees and Implementation Plans

The following communication from Secretary Dimas was disseminated to service providers and Independent Service Coordination Agencies on Thursday, July 23rd regarding payments for services to comply with consent decrees and implementation plans:

"Dear Provider:

As you are likely aware, recent orders have been entered in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Circuit Court of Cook County regarding the Consent Decrees in Ligas v. Norwood, 05 CV 3441 (N.D. Ill.) ("Ligas") and Bogard v. Bradley, 99 CV 2414 (N.D. Ill) ("Bogard") (the "Orders"). Despite the fact that a State budget for Fiscal Year 2016 has not yet been enacted, the Orders require that the Illinois Office of the Comptroller make payments necessary to comply with the consent decrees and implementation plans. We appreciate your patience as IDHS has worked to develop a plan to comply with the courts' Orders.

Because there is no budget in place and no appropriation for your organization's services, IDHS does not have authority under the Illinois Constitution to make payments for services, with the exception of those services that are required by the courts' Orders. In order to comply with both orders, we will be matching billings for developmental disabilities services submitted by your organization against lists maintained by IDHS of Ligas and Bogard class members. Only services delivered to those class members will be processed for payment at this time.

If you receive advance payments for some of your services, please note that the advance will cover only the portion estimated for service to Ligas and Bogard class members. Further, if you are unclear on which of the individuals you serve are Ligas or Bogard class members, IDHS will provide that information to you. Finally, if you do not serve any Ligas or Bogard class members, IDHS will not be processing payments to your organization until a Fiscal Year 2016 budget is in place.

Once a budget is enacted, IDHS will resume processing payments for the other services provided in relation to your IDHS funds. IDHS fully expects that the rates for serving non-Ligas and non-Bogard class members, and which are covered under a budget enacted for Fiscal Year 2016, will be reimbursed retroactive to July 1, 2015.

We are extremely grateful for your service to all individuals during these challenging times. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work to comply with the courts' Orders. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your IDHS contact with any questions.


James T. Dimas, Secretary-Designate
Illinois Department of Human Services

Mandatory Modifications to the Reporting of Community Services (ROCS) System

Division of Developmental Disabilities staff continue to work with the Department's Management Information Systems (MIS) staff on modifications to the ROCS System to accommodate a transition from the currently used ICD9 codes to the federally required ICD10 codes. ICD9 Codes will continue to be maintained by the system for all current case openings. Once the changes are put in place, ICD10 codes will be required for all new case opening submissions. The target deadline for full implementation is October 1, 2015.

Next steps and estimated time frames are as follows for implementation:

  • The modifications made to the ROCS software system will be pilot tested by three providers that utilize ROCS software for data submission. The testing is expected to occur the week of July 28th.
  • Providers that utilize third party software for ROCS data submission will need to direct their software developers to make modifications to the .ftp file submitted to ROCS. The specifications necessary for the new .ftp file submission are posted on the internet and can be found at the following location:
  • MIS will accept a test file from providers using third party software to ensure the file specifications have been accurately modified to match the new submission criteria. Test files will be accepted via email to from August 20th - September 4th.
  • The Division will host webinar training for community providers on September 16th at 10:00am. MIS staff will provide instruction and demonstrations outlining the changes made to the ROCS system and third party software submissions. In addition, Dr. Tracy Aldridge will provide an overview, from the medical community perspective, of the conversion from ICD9 codes to ICD10 codes. Please look to future correspondence for registration details.

Training Opportunity

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is offering the IDHS Nurse-Trainer Medication Administration in the Community Rule 116 training as a GoToMeeting Webinar platform presented by Dr. Arden Gregory, with support from Master Nurse-Trainers.

Note: There are three required webinars:

  1. The first webinar is a required prerequisite to view/listen prior to August 5. Please see: View Prerequisite Recorded Webinar
  2. Second: Webinar 1 on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
  3. Third: Webinar 2 on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 from 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Please see more information about the three webinars, how to register and taking the IDHS Nurse-Training computer-based post-test at:

Money Follows the Person Site Visit

The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a site visit of Illinois' Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program. On Monday, July 20, staff from the IDHS Divisions of Rehabilitation Services, Mental Health, and Developmental Disabilities - as well as the Departments on Aging and Healthcare and Family Services - gave CMS staff an overview and answered questions regarding the MFP activities. Kit O'Brien Cota provided the overview for DDD; Greg Fenton, Reta Hoskin, Joe Turner, and Gina Tinsley were also in attendance. Mary Kay Speidel from SICCS and Sheila Edstrom from Kiley Developmental Center discussed transition activities. On Tuesday, July 21, CMS staff visited MFP participants in their homes in DuPage County to better understand the challenges and rewards of the program. An individual served by UCP Seguin was one of the individuals visited. The visit wrapped up Wednesday morning. We thank everyone who assisted with presenting information to CMS.

DD Regulatory Advisory Board

The DD Regulatory Advisory Board will meet on July 29, 2015, at 10:00 am in Springfield (Harris Building) and Chicago (Clinton Building). The Board will continue its review and discussion of proposed changes to Rule 115, the regulation for the Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) Program.

Renewal of Children's Waivers

The State submitted the renewal requests to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the two children's waivers on July 16, 2015. The final applications will be posted on the Division's website shortly for everyone's reference and information. Federal CMS now has 90 days to review the applications, but it may place a hold during the 90-day period by submitting official questions to the State about the applications. These two waivers provide federal matching funds for the Children's Home-Based Support Services Program and the Children's Group Homes.

PUNS Waiting List

We take this opportunity to remind stakeholders of the PUNS Waiting List and ask that you continually help us with outreach to individuals potentially in need of developmental disabilities services. It is important that such individuals are directed to the Independent Service Coordination agencies to enroll in the database. Brochures available on the website that can help families understand the process are:

PUNS Program Brochure:

Understanding PUNS:

As you may know, we will not be doing a PUNS selection this calendar year. The State's last PUNS selection was conducted in March, 2014. At that time, 700 names were selected. There are 2,328 Ligas Class Members now in service as a result of PUNS selections, and others are finalizing service opportunities as we move toward our benchmark of 2,500 by June 30, 2016. The next benchmark is 3,000 by June 30, 2017. We are continually monitoring the progress in securing services of those selected and will be making additional selections in the future to meet these benchmarks. It is likely another selection will occur during calendar year 2016.

Ligas Class Member/Family Advisory Committee (CMAC)

The Ligas Class Member/Family Advisory Committee was established as a requirement in the Ligas Implementation Plan 2013. This committee meets on a quarterly basis and provides ongoing consultation and advice to the Monitor and Parties regarding implementation of Ligas activities from the perspective of Class Members' families. At the present time, the meetings are held through video conferencing from Springfield and City of Chicago sites. CMAC met on July 21, 2015, and offered many thanks and farewell to the departing Ligas Court Monitor, Tony Records. The committee had further opportunity to meet the new Ligas Court Monitor, Ronnie Cohn. Updates were heard from Ligas Family Advocates, Equip for Equality (Class Counsel) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities. The committee was provided information regarding changes to Rule 116 (Administration of Medication in Community Settings). To conclude the meeting, Tamar Heller with the University of Illinois presented a summary of findings regarding research completed on Ligas activities. The next committee meeting is scheduled for October 21, 2015.

SODC Operations News

  • From the Murray Developmental Center…..Sara Holtgrave, MHT and acting Mental Health Specialist was nominated for July 2015 Co-Employee of the Month and recognized by her peers as being "dynamic" due to her willingness to perform many jobs, "wearing many hats" and displaying a "heart of gold." Sara genuinely "loves" all of the individuals she works with. Although she is currently temporarily assigned to her position as a Mental Health Specialist, she has taken the initiative to train the other two people in her department. Also, as a Staff Development trainer for Murray Center, Sara assisted in training the new class of technicians in the proper use of restraints and how to read and implement the Behavioral Implementation Plan. She performs all of her duties while also pursuing her college degree. She is respected and loved by her peers and residents
  • Jim Creed, Support Service Worker in the Main Dietary was nominated for July 2015 Co-Employee of the Month and recognized by his peers for his willingness to assist the only cook on duty to prepare evening meals for the residents, clean up the kitchen and then return to work completing his own assignment without complaint. Jim shows a willingness to assist all peers and displays a positive attitude and harmonious work environment and is a person who can be counted on to assist workers and residents.
  • Anthony (Tony) Richard joined the SODC Operations Regional Staff as Administrative Assistant for Region 2. Tony joined what was then the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities in 1991 in the dietary department at Howe Developmental Center. He also spent time at Tinley Park Mental Health Center and Shapiro Developmental Center before moving to the IDHS Office of Internal Audit. Most recently, he worked for the Division of Family and Community Services as a Public Aid eligibility assistant in the Kankakee local office where he worked with clients to determine eligibility for benefits. Tony earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration while working full-time for IDHS. He will be working out of the Shapiro Center in Kankakee. Welcome, Tony.

Update on the Request for Applications (RFA)

A meeting was held on July 21, 2015, for individuals considering the submission of a proposal and/or wishing to learn more about the 24-hour Stabilization Services. As a result of that meeting, the deadline for submitting an application has been extended to August 14, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. This will allow more time for dissemination and review of the information received at that meeting.

Encryption of Documents

At a recent meeting with our providers, we promised to include some information on encryption in our next issue of The DDD Scoop. Unfortunately, our deadline for this issue prevents us from including this article. It will be featured in our next issue.

Guide to Division Bureaus

Some time ago we provided a draft version of "Who does What" (doc) at the Division. This document has undergone extensive revisions and is attached to this issue.

Appointment as Division Director

Finally, I want to thank you all for your congratulatory emails regarding my recent appointment as permanent Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to achieve positive outcomes for the people we serve.

As Division Director, I promise to serve with high energy, commitment and humility.

In keeping with the Governor's emphasis on enhancing the general public's confidence in government, we will continue to improve transparency, accountability and quality within our system.

On July 15, 2015, the Division held its first All Staff meeting. All Springfield-based employees attended in person, and videoconferencing connections were established for Chicago-based employees and the state operated developmental center administrators. A portion of the meeting was devoted to a review of expectations (timely performance evaluations; work hours; six most important things to do; email and phone call responsiveness) and accountability.

Soon after the meeting concluded, I received an email from one of our managers who was reminded of a newspaper article she has carried around for some 10-12 years. She pulls this article out periodically to remind herself of her responsibilities as a supervisor and to give herself a bit of a "pep talk" when others might fuss at her for "making a big deal about nothing." The author of the article (Mike Clark-Madison, former city-editor of the Austin Chronicle in Austin, Texas) believes that it's essential to acknowledge anything that could represent or result in a performance problem. Small problems can turn into bigger ones. A decision to not confront a problem can send a message of "I don't care."

The staff meeting was an effective catalyst to spark "conversations of committed professionals".

After the meeting, I communicated to staff that if we are to remain, or become, a quality organization, our daily agendas and interactions must reflect the following commitments to each other:

Commitment and Professionalism in Quality Organizations (What does it look like?)

Following are examples of what professionalism and commitment look like in quality and progressive organizations:

  • Employees are committed to treating each other with dignity and respect.
  • Employees do not interrupt one another during informal conversations or during meetings.
  • Employees are committed to soliciting ideas, suggestions and input of co-workers; pushing decision-making down to the local level; promoting collaborative processes; and recognizing the contributions of others.
  • Employees are committed to maintaining a positive focus regardless of the challenges they face.
  • Employees are committed to having meaningful and productive experiences while at work and are committed to making individual contributions that lead to a healthy and enriching work environment.
  • Employees are committed to coming to work in appropriate attire that demonstrates pride in being true public servants.
  • Employees are committed to consistently being on time for work, meetings and scheduled appointments.
  • Employees are committed to putting in a full day's work for a full day's pay and meeting deadlines for tasks and assignments.
  • Employees are committed to striving to a higher level of performance each and every day, thereby leaving each workday with a sense of pride and accomplishment as a result of focused efforts on organizational priorities and mission objectives.
  • Employees are committed to responding to all phone calls and e-mails in a timely and professional manner.
  • Employees are committed to being appropriate, efficient and effective when conducting business with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Employees are committed to running productive meetings - and only holding meetings when absolutely necessary - with prepared agendas, structures and strategies that ensure meetings begin on time, end on time and culminate in meaningful outcomes.
  • Employees are committed to meeting the expectations of the organization and being open to system improvement efforts.
  • Employees are committed to carrying out job functions with a high level of integrity, as characterized by transparency, openness, honesty, accountability and a genuine commitment to maintaining confidentiality in their relationships and interactions with others.