The DDD Scoop (6-30-17)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

 

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop!

Transition from Service Facilitation to Self-Direction Assistance

The beginning of a new State fiscal year is here and with it begins the implementation of a new service within the Home Based Service and Support (HBS) Program: Self-direction Assistance (SDA). We understand that questions remain on what the new service is, what it is not, and how families and community agencies begin the transition process from Service Facilitation.

Here is the definition: Self Direction Assistance (previously known as Service Facilitation) assists the participant (or the participant's family or representative, as appropriate) in arranging for, directing and managing services. Practical skills training is offered to enable families and participants to independently direct and manage waiver services. Examples of skills training include providing information on recruiting and hiring personal support workers, managing workers, and providing information on effective communication and problem-solving. The service/function includes providing information to ensure that participants understand the responsibilities involved with directing their services. The extent of the assistance furnished to the participant or family is specified in the personal plan.

The definition of SDA services does not include:

  • Helping the family/individual with maintaining Medicaid eligibility;
  • Developing or monitoring the personal plan;
  • Conducting monitoring visits in the individual's home or other locations; and
  • Assisting the family/individual with obtaining services that require prior approval (such as assistive technology, physical therapy, or temporary assistance).

The above four activities will now be conducted exclusively by the Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies.

To help understand how the responsibilities of ISCs and SDAs now differ, the Division created a table listing their job duties. The table is available at: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=93863.

SDA services are optional and, if purchased by the family, will focus on assisting the family/individual with finding, directing, and managing self-directed services. For example, SDAs may help the family/individual recruit self-directed personal support workers (PSWs), assist in negotiating PSW hourly rates, assist in scheduling PSWs, and facilitate resolution of concerns and issues with PSWs. SDAs will assist the family/individual with planning and budgeting of the monthly service allotment.

The personal plan will be the controlling document determining which services SDAs will assist with and how much assistance will be delivered. The personal plan will also determine how the services will be delivered. If for example, the family/individual wants to continue regular home visits with the SDA, the home visits may continue as long as the home visits are included in the personal plan and the visit is related to assisting with self-directed services.

SDA services will be phased-in over State Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), which begins July 1, 2017. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Division realize that the nearly 9,000 individuals receiving Wavier HBS services cannot all immediately implement the new services. The new services will be transitioned when the annual planning dates come due. During the development of the Personal Plan, the family/individual will work with the ISC to decide if SDA will be a selected service and how the service will be implemented. However, until the Personal Plan is developed, the current plan with its current services should remain in place. That means service facilitation in its current form including plan monitoring and home visits should continue to be delivered and SF agencies should continue to bill for the service. The service code of 55A and the hourly rate of $40.01 will remain the same for Service Facilitation and for SDA.

Families/individuals may request of their ISC agency that their Plan be updated prior to the annual due date; however, please recognize that the ISC agencies are being asked to take on additional responsibilities right now and may need time to accommodate such requests in their schedules.

More information about the transition to SDA and Personal Plan development is available at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=93376 and http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=96986.

If there are additional questions, please contact Dave Adden at: Dave.Adden@Illinois.gov.

Iles Park Blood Drive

Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be onsite July 11, 2017. Their Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot during the hours of 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. You can contact Teresa Sheley at 217-524-2512 or by email at Teresa.sheley@illinois.gov to reserve your time slot. Blood donation appointments can also be made at www.bloodcenterimpact.org using the group sponsor code 60835. Please eat something before you donate and bring your state ID.

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center staff is wonderful. You will be well taken care of during your visit - and you will receive a snack and juice when you're done!! Let's do our part to help save lives in our local community by fulfilling this extremely important need for blood donations. As an added incentive, all presenting donors will receive a $10.00 gift card of their choice and be entered into a drawing for a $2,500.00 vacation package!!

If you have any questions about blood donations, please feel free to contact the Blood Center at www.bloodcenter.org or by calling 1-800-747-5401.

All Staff Meeting

Just a reminder!! Our next central office All Staff meeting will be July 13, 2017 from 9:00 - 12:30. More information will be available shortly.

Medicaid Waiver Status

I am pleased to announced that the State received word from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that the renewals for the Children's Support Waiver and the Children's Residential Waiver have now been approved. The approvals are effective as of July 1, 2017. In order to secure these approvals, the State agreed to Action Plans that address the personal plan and Service Facilitation issues. Interested stakeholders may view the renewed Waivers and the two Action Plans on the Department's website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=45915.

The second public comment period for the Adult Waiver ends today, June 30, 2017. The State will now summarize the second round of comments received and make any needed modifications to the Waiver application. Federal CMS is expecting the application to be resubmitted in August. In the meantime, on June 15, 2017 federal CMS sent the State informal comments and questions on the version of the renewal application that was submitted on April 7. We are now preparing draft responses to this feedback which are due to federal CMS on July11.

I want to thank Reta Hoskin, her staff, and all stakeholders for their input and efforts in getting these waivers renewed.

New Webpage for Person -Centered Planning Process

The Division has developed a new webpage devoted to the Person-Centered Planning Process now being implemented. We encourage all stakeholders to visit this new webpage at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=96986. It includes an overview of the process, the tool and guidelines for Discovery, the tool and guidelines for the Personal Plan, and questions and answers. We will soon be adding materials regarding the providers' Implementation Strategies. It is our intent to maintain this webpage throughout the coming year of transition to this new process in order to ensure all stakeholders are working with the same information and materials.

Employment First Memorandum of Understanding

On June 30, 2017 staff from the Secretary's Office, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) met with our Subject Matter Expert, Lisa Mills, whose services are available through a federal grant, to continue discussions on the development of a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DRS and DDD that addresses issues regarding Support Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation services. The MOU is required by the Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The current draft covers such topics as eligibility and access to services, service provider networks, joint training efforts, State Divisions' collaboration efforts, specific responsibility of each Division, etc. We are meeting again on July 20, 2017 to bring our internal discussions to a close and hope to have a revised draft available in late August to share with external stakeholders for comment.

On the Move

A few weeks ago we announced Reta Hoskin's plans to retire from State Government by the end of the year. At that same time, we indicated that we would provide more information as her plans became more defined. Reta is now looking at a September 1, 2017 effective date for her retirement. In the meantime, as part of our plan to ensure a smooth transition in the Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration, we are designating Jim Eddings to work closely with Reta for the duration of her tenure and to serve as the acting Bureau Chief until a permanent replacement is identified.

Jim currently serves as Program Manager for the Division's Strategic Planning Section. He is a member of the Ligas Implementation Team and represents us in the development of the Statewide Transition Plan for the federal HCBS Waiver settings rule. Jim's 25 years of experience with the State of Illinois include serving as a Medicaid Waiver Specialist, Transition Services Representative, Quality Review Program Specialist, North Central Network Representative, and as a Disability Claims Adjudicator. Prior to beginning his state service, he was employed as a Supported Employment Job Coach at the McDonough County Rehabilitation Center and as a Program Director/Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP) at St. Mary's Square Living Center.

I have met with the Section Managers within Reta's bureau and plan to have further meetings with them and others in order to identify how to best move forward in a way that meets the needs of the Division during these challenging times.

SODC Operations News

Choate Center - Choate's swimming pool is now open and all Activity Therapists have completed Shallow Water Life-Guard certification.

Fox Center - Fox individuals participated in a mule-pulled boat ride near Starved Rock.

Kiley Center - Three individuals recently attended an outing to the local fire station along with their work group.

Ludeman Center - The Park Forest Kiwanis Club met with Ludeman individuals to provide information on establishing an Aktion Club. Aktion Club is an arm of Kiwanis especially designed for people with intellectual disabilities. Turnout was great and a majority of the individuals expressed a desire to participate in the club. Following the meeting, the Park Forest Kiwanis invited Ludeman to be part of is entry in the Park Forest Fourth of July Parade.

Mabley Center - Individuals are excited about the upcoming Mabley Prom. Some have been shopping at the Goodwill stores while others have rented tuxedos for this upcoming event. Everyone is super excited about the Grand March! Anyone can participate in the event and the dance following the Grand March. Mabley's staff has put a lot of effort in planning for this big event.

Murray Center - The Volunteer Recognition Program was recently held. Thanks to Greg Strickland and the Activity staff for organizing this annual event. Murray Center, the individuals, parents/guardians, and staff are grateful for the many volunteers who enrich the lives of the individuals by allowing them to share in so many different kinds of experiences.

Shapiro Center - Khari Hunt, Chief Operating Officer, recently visited Shapiro. He toured the Center as well as the Dietary area.

Independence Day

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy, safe and relaxing 4th of July holiday. In between the hot dogs and hamburgers, I'll take time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday and celebrate how far we've come as a nation over the last 241 years. I must confess that every time I see or read the Declaration of Independence, I'm amazed by the brilliance of the document and the vision of our founding fathers. As a child, I remember that the Fifth Dimension, a singing group, released a song that contained the opening words of the Declaration of Independence. That's how I learned many of the words in this important document, even before I fully appreciated their meaning.

As I reflect on particular parts of the Declaration of Independence, such as the part that talks about "a long train of abuses and usurpations", I am reminded that the spirit and intent of our forefathers has yet to be fully realized by too many Americans. Specifically, many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities still don't have independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, and the opportunity to make strong contributions to their communities.

So Independence Day is certainly a day to celebrate the nation's many accomplishments, but this is no time to rest on our laurels until all Americans enjoy the commitments reflected in the Declaration of Independence-that is, the basic guarantees of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I look forward to your continued support and commitment to bring about positive change in the lives of the people we serve.

Have a great weekend and please enjoy your holiday!