The DDD Scoop (9-02-16)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop.

Information Bulletin Rescission

In the last issue of the DDD Scoop, I reported on the numerous feedback received on the Information Bulletin on Community-based Healthcare and Other Services for Persons in the Waiver. After the close of the comment period on August 26, senior staff met to review those comments. As a result of that review, we have decided not to issue the bulletin after all. A communication to that effect was issued today (September 2, 2016). The comments received highlighted the many barriers that preclude individuals from gaining access to quality health care in community settings. The comments also informed us that the Bulletin would inadvertently discourage efforts that would lead to optimal health outcomes that are consistent with individual needs and preferences. We will therefore not issue the Bulletin as final and official.

Finally, we look forward to our continued partnership with stakeholders to eliminate the barriers that prevent equal access to high-quality health care and other services in community settings.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and my sincere apologies for any inconvenience or confusion this Information Bulletin may have caused.

Post Payment Reviews

The Division's Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration is responsible for post payment reviews of Medicaid Waiver services provided to individuals being served under any of the three Medicaid Waivers. The three waivers operated by DDD are the Adult Waiver, Children's Support Waiver and the Children's Residential Waiver. The reviews are completed to ensure the financial integrity of the services and billings/payments of those services. These reviews are typically completed via desk reviews of documentation submitted upon request by the providers delivering the services. The Bureau completes routine sample reviews as well as targeted reviews when issues are identified.

For transparency's sake and in order to educate stakeholders about these activities and the need to prevent, identify and remediate any potential fiscal issues, a new page on the Division's website has been added to post summary results of these reviews: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=85250. We invite and welcome interested stakeholders to review our summary reports as they are posted and offer input to the Division as we continue these efforts. Should you have suggestions for improvements to our processes or concerns about the financial integrity of services provided, please share those with the Bureau by contacting Paul Morell at 217-782-5919.

Children's Waiver Renewal Update

The Division is working with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and federal CMS on two action plans for the two Children's Waivers; one involves the service planning process and the other addresses Service Facilitation. The latest drafts of these actions plans were submitted to CMS on August 26.

Service Planning - The language describes that the Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agency will now be responsible for working with the participant and his or her family or guardian to direct the planning process, develop the plan, implement the plan, and monitor the plan's on-going implementation and effectiveness. The plan must be based on the individual's needs, preferences, and desired outcomes, as assessed using a standardized assessment tool provided by the Division. The ISC is responsible for coordinating the various services chosen by the participant, including State Plan services for health care and medical needs, as well as generic supports. The plan must be completed prior to service implementation and updated at least annually thereafter.

The timelines for making this change in the service planning process include:

  • Training ISC agencies involved in the testing phase by 12/15/16
  • Conduct informational situations with involved providers by 12/15/16
  • Complete service plans selected for the test by 3/31/17
  • Modify service plan template as needed based on the best by 4/30/17
  • Train all ISC agencies on final template by 6/30/17
  • Implement use of standard template statewide by all ISCs for all Waiver participants as their plans come due for update on or after 7/1/17

Service Facilitation - Service planning and monitoring will no longer be part of Service Facilitation. The ISC agencies will assume these duties as the Service Planning action plan is implemented. Service Facilitation will remain an optional direct service under the Waiver. Participants may select that service if they need assistance and/or skills training with managing employees, directing and managing other Waiver services, problem solving, communication issues, etc.

The overall implementation date is proposed to be July 1, 2017. Our intent is to release these drafts within the next two weeks.

Short Term Stabilization Homes Update

The first referrals to the Short Term Stabilization Homes (SSH) will be from the individuals with whom the Division and the Independent Service Coordination agencies are already working to stabilize.

One referral will be made to Individual Advocacy Group SSH during the week of September 5, and one referral will be made to Envision Unlimited SSH during the week of September 12. This is possible as a result of an incredible level of hustle on the part of the two providers as well as an equal amount of cooperation from the Bureau of Accreditation and Licensure, the Fire Marshal, and many others such as the IDHS data programming staff. Each agency's second home will be available for referrals in late September or early October. Our plan is to gradually refer persons to these homes so that we can all learn how to better stabilize and reintegrate individuals, and to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes.

More thorough SSH information, including a bulletin and forms, will be sent after fine tuning and input from the early referrals. Questions may be directed to Carolyn Cochran Kopel at 217-524-0454 or Molly Chapman at 217-782-9402 or at Carolyn.Cochran-Kopel@illinois.gov or Molly.Chapman@illinois.gov.

Meeting with The Alliance

DDD senior staff met with representatives from The Alliance on August 30, 2016 to answer questions about the adult waiver application, and how self-advocates and The Alliance can provide input. Pictured below are: (Seated) Krescene Beck, The Alliance; Jayma Bernhard, DHS-DDD; Adam Cooper, self-advocate and President of The Alliance's Board of Directors; (Standing) Kathy Ward, DHS-DDD and Reta Hoskin, DHS DDD.

Staff who met with Alliance

Ligas Six-Month Data Report

The latest six-month data report for the Ligas Consent Decree is now available. It is located at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=86854 and represents data for the period ending June 30, 2016. Interested parties may view this report to find the latest data about the number of Class Members, compliance with benchmarks for transitions of Class Members, outreach to potential Class members, etc.

The Arc of Illinois' Consumer Involvement Program

The Arc of Illinois' Consumer Involvement Program is funded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. It provides financial assistance in the form of a consumer stipend to people with developmental disabilities and their family members to participate in conferences related to developmental disabilities. It is the intent of the program for the participants to use the information they receive, through attending a conference of their choice, to make a change in their life or help their family member make a positive change in their life, including learning to become a better advocate.

Examples of the types of conferences that have been funded include: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Transition Conference…and many more!

This link to the Consumer Stipend Fund Brochure provides all the information on how the program works and also the application to receive the funding. Stipends are still available.

Home Based Support Services Expo

The Fifth Annual Home Based Support Services Expo will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2016 from 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Avalon Banquet Hall at 1905 E. Higgins Road in Elk Grove Village. The Exhibit Hall will include over 50 providers specializing in serving individuals with a disability and their families. Areas of expertise represented will include adaptive equipment, behavioral & clinical services, benefits, durable medical equipment, fiscal employer agents, home and vehicle modifications, housing, legal, managed care, personal emergency response, recreation, family supports, information & referral, autism, down syndrome, epilepsy, social services, hearing impairments, training and transportation.

Three Presentations are scheduled, and will include remarks by me on Transformation of Illinois DD Services; Lore Baker, Statewide Housing and Employment First Coordinator on Affordable Housing and Ann C. Sickon, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Futures on A Path to Community-Based Alternative Housing Solutions.

This Expo is sponsored by Clearbrook. There is a registration fee of $25.00 per person or $40.00 for a household of two or more persons. Registration and payment can be made on line at: - http://www.clearbrook.org/2016_hbs_expo/. Questions can be directed to Lisa Lew at 847-778-3675 or llew@clearbrook.org.

New Provider Orientation Change of Date

The New Provider Orientation has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 20. All other details remain the same.

SODC Operations News

Fox Center - The Center Director met with village and Illinois Department of Transportation representatives concerning the high speed rail construction surrounding the campus. Road and parking closures were discussed and the Center was included in alternate planning.

Kiley Center - Bowling activities continued through the month of August. The fourth week of bowling involved a lot of fun. On August 23, one of the individuals bowled a score of 142. The final week of bowling will pit individuals against staff.

Ludeman Center - Dale McElroy, Office Assistant in Engineering, was honored on his retirement after 30+ years of service.

Mabley Center - On August 23, the individuals had their 1980's theme dance, and the weather was gorgeous! The gazebo was decorated with several hanging Pac Mans, ghosts, and Rubik's cubes. It is a team effort to have so many people attend and worthwhile to see how happy these little events make them.

Murray Center - All the individuals enjoyed a trip to the Rainbow Ranch in Nashville, IL. The individuals had their pictures taken with some of the animals and were able to learn about different types of exotic animals.

House Bill (HB) 5931

Finally, I want to close with remarks about House Bill (HB) 5931. As you are doubtless aware, on Friday, August 26th, the Governor vetoed HB 5931 which would have increased Direct Support Professional (DSP) wages to fifteen dollars per hour.

I want you to know that we in the Division value DSPs and the vital role each DSP plays in supporting people to reach their full potential. Unquestionably, our DSPs are the backbone of our service delivery. In vetoing HB 5931, I was pleased that the Governor acknowledged "the difficult and important work of these professionals and the fact that they have not had a wage increase in years". The Governor is open to finding a way to increase wages for these professionals, and we in the Division stand ready to work with the Governor, the Department, the General Assembly, stakeholders and other involved people to find ways of addressing this important issue and ensuring that we attract and retain a competent workforce.

Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Enjoy the holiday!