The DDD Scoop (10-13-17)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop!

DDD Central Office Contact Information

First and foremost, please find attached to this edition of the DDD Scoop a document containing the contact information for Central Office staff, effective October 13, 2017. We have put together this document in order to provide guidance on who to go to for assistance on specific areas within the Division.

Ludeman Center 45th Anniversary

On October 6, 2017 Ludeman Center celebrated its 45th anniversary! The day was celebrated with a gathering of the many friends and supporters of Ludeman Center. The Ludeman United Choir performed. Several of the original residents and their families were in attendance, as well as several of Ludeman's original employees still on the job at Ludeman. The residents and staff were honored and given certificates of appreciation by the Center Directors and Assistant Center Director. Secretary Dimas, Representative Al Riley, Representative Anthony DeLuca, Ben Stortz and Don Hespell (from Cornerstone Services, Inc.), and Leadership staff from Fox and Kiley Developmental Centers were also in attendance.

Ludeman 45th Anniversary

Pictured above from left to right: Wanda Satkas (OCAPS Lab Manager), Me and Paul Butler (Chicagoland Autism Connection).

Ludeman 45th

Pictured above from left to right: Agnes Davis (Internal Security Investigator/Ludeman Choir Director), Janelle McFadden (Executive Secretary for the Center Director), Shelly Brown (Staff Development Specialist), Pam Clay-Wilson (LEVRAS Director), Wanda Satkas (OCAPS Lab Manager), and Betty Bowling (Psychologist).

Service Agreement Amounts and the Recent Rate Increases

As you may know, the Division instituted higher payment rates for many of its services with an effective date of August 1, 2017.

The rate table is available at: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=38992

Home-based Service providers and individuals/families who self-direct should ensure that the dollar amount for services billed for August 2017 and subsequent months remains within the dollar amount designated in their Service Agreements. Exceeding the dollar amount agreed upon for services could cause payment rejections for the billing providers or other providers who serve individuals.

The monthly and yearly amounts for the Children's Support Waiver and the Waiver for Adults with Developmental Disabilities remain at $1,470 and $2,205 per month respectively. The Social Security Administration typically announces SSI rates for the following year in mid-to-late October. No announcement has been made yet. The Division will notify our stakeholders once the SSI amounts for 2018 have been published.

Wage Increase Implementation

Division staff have received inquiries related to providers implementing the $0.75 wage increase. Hopefully this will clarify any lingering questions or hesitation to implement the wage change. The intent of the legislature was specific to increase the level of wages for all employees who have direct contact and provide a service to any person with a developmental disability. The intent of the wage increase is to raise all direct support employees' wages by $0.75 per hour regardless of:

  • The employee's rate of pay related to the agency's pay scale;
  • Minimum Wage Requirements;
  • The Agency's Staffing Ratios;
  • The number of or percentage of part time or full time employees;
  • Comparison of the agency's pay scale with any other employer;
  • Whether or not an employee or employees received a pay increase before Aug. 1, 2017;
  • What the agency's costs are related to any other business expenses;
  • The level of functioning of the people served by the agency; or
  • The agency's fringe benefit costs or percentage of fringe benefits to wages paid.

The DD Division has implemented rate changes for all DDD funded programs to generate the additional revenue to implement the wage increase. Changes in day program remittance reports were available beginning September 21, 2017. CILA remittance reports were available to providers beginning October 6, 2017. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS) is currently in the process of data entering all rate changes for ICF/IIDs, ICF/IDD Day Training, MC/DD (formerly SNF/PED) and MC/DD Exceptional Care Rates.

Update on Critical Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS) and Capacity Management Application (CMA)

On July 27, the Division emailed to providers notification and instructions on two new electronic reporting systems, CIRAS and CMA. To date, 162 providers are enrolled in CIRAS and CMA. We thank those providers for their efforts. For those providers who have not yet enrolled, we ask that you complete and send the enrollment forms as soon as possible to Sherry Hinds at Sherry.Hinds@Illinois.Gov. Please remember that enrollment for provider agencies in CIRAS is mandatory.

A description of CIRAS and qualifying reporting events, as well as complete enrollment instructions, are in the CIRAS Manual which is available on the DHS website: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=97358. The site also has FAQs, forms, and the manual to guide users on how to access the report function available in CIRAS.

As stated in the July 27, 2017 notice, ISC agencies have individualized enrollment forms and should continue to work with Dave Adden at Dave.Adden@Illinois.gov to complete CIRAS enrollment.

During the CIRAS enrollment process, keep these tips in mind:

  • To enroll in CIRAS, the reporter must obtain an external.illinois.gov account. Do not forward the enrollment forms until the reporter has received account verification.
  • After enrollment forms have been sent to the Division, allow three working days for processing before attempting to log-in to CIRAS.
  • To log-in to CIRAS, the username will be the entire external.Illinois.gov account. For example: John.Doe@external.illinois.gov.

Capacity Management Application (CMA) will enable providers to report basic information regarding vacancies within their programs, as well as their intent to develop new capacity. Consumers, guardians, family members, Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agency staff, and other interested stakeholders may then search the reported data via the Department's website to learn about service options within the system.

Providers may report vacancies and intent to develop new capacity through the Capacity Management Application. This system is now available on the Department's website and we encourage providers to enter their vacancy information.

We ask that all residential, day program, and self-direction assistance providers now go to the webpage for CIRAS and submit the required forms for enrollment as instructed by the manual. As they do this, they may also enroll for the Capacity Management Application. In order to request enrollment for both applications at the same time, thus avoiding additional paperwork later, providers should write "CIRAS and CMA" on Form 2022 under the "User System Access Requested" section of the form, checking the "Other" box. One form must be submitted for each staff person who will be using either of the systems.

For questions on CIRAS, please contact Dave Adden at: Dave.Adden@Illinois.gov, or (217) 524-0848. For questions on CMA, please contact Sherry Hinds at Sherry.Hinds@Illinois.gov, or (217) 782-5918.

Thank you for your continued efforts in implementing these two initiatives.

Merging CIRAS and Other Reporting Systems

The Division has recently implemented the Critical Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS) to capture and report significant events affecting individuals. Several community providers have notified us that they are currently using similar electronic reporting systems that capture much of the same information. Making CIRAS reports and utilizing their own reporting system often leads to entering the same incident twice.

To make incident reporting more efficient, the Division has created a workgroup to explore methods of data sharing between CIRAS and electronic reporting systems used by our providers. If community providers are using non-CIRAS reporting systems to capture incidents, please notify the workgroup. Of particular interest would be the name of the software and any fields of information that coincide with CIRAS. Please notify the workgroup by contacting Jayma Bernhard at: Jayma.Bernhard@Illinois.gov.

Trainer's Corner-Quality Enhancement Unit

Civility in the Workplace

As a follow-up to last issue's article, the next causes of Incivility are Anonymity, Stress and The Pursuit of Individualism in Society of Equals.

Anonymity - There have been studies conducted that reveal even casual observations will verify that people have less inhibitions when they can't be held accountable for their actions. People are more likely to say insulting things against a person when their identity can be hidden.

Stress - A considerable amount of incivility in the workplace can be traced to both personal and work-related stress. The workplace can sometimes be a "pressure cooker". Having to survive even on a daily basis means less time for rest, recreation and self-care. It's not uncommon for workers to channel their frustration and even depression onto individuals that they interact with daily. The inability to react appropriately to a provoking event may also be diminished by the experience of stress and fatigue. If you need to take a break to assist with stress, take a short walk outside or around your building. Take yourself out of that stressful event.

The Pursuit of Individualism in Society of Equals - Philosophical root of incivility today is: An attitude of "each man for his own" and that expressing one's self in the most authentic way possible is a "right" and an "entitlement".

While at work treat your co-workers with the utmost respect. "It's the right thing to do".

On the Move

Gary Kramer has informed us of his decision to leave the Division to assume the position of Chief Accountability Officer within the IDHS Office of Innovation, Strategy and Performance. We are sorry to see him go, but are pleased that he will be remaining within the agency. Gary's last day with the Division will be October 20, 2017 and we plan to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are working to develop an interim plan for the bureau, and will be posting this position in the near future.

Mike Blazis has accepted an inter-office transfer as a Management Operations Analyst II to the Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration, effective October 16. Mike began his career with the state as a Student Worker in 1987 with DRS. Since then he has worked as an Accountant and an Executive I within IDHS. Congratulations Mike!

Quality Review Activity Webinar

On October 10, 2017, 350 people participated in a webinar through the DHS Website intended to give an overview of the plan for review activity by BQM during this current fiscal year. The webinar also discussed what is expected of providers as we set out to do our review activity. Handouts were provided via e-mail to those agencies that registered and attended the webinar. The webinar and the tools that will be used for review activity are posted on the IDHS website. It was explained that the changes occurring in Illinois are a result of the federal government's waiver changes.

This is a year of transition and BQM will focus on the waiver performance measures and interpret information based on whether or not the Person Centered Plan (PCP) has occurred for individuals in the sample. During this year of transition, BQM's activity will not greatly impact the reviews based on the dates of plans. If there is a current Individual Service Plan (ISP) then the rules associated with the ISP apply as currently written. If there is a current PCP then expectations associated with that plan apply. The information presented in this webinar applies only to persons with developmental disabilities receiving waiver services such as the Adult Waiver, Children's Support Waiver and Children's Residential Waiver.

During review activity, reviewers will be conducting Personal Outcome Measure (POM) interviews. The focus of these interviews will only cover nine outcome measures. Providers will not be held accountable for the results of the POM reviews. BQM will be primarily focused on the Division's outcomes.

IPads will be used by reviewers, which will allow for information obtained to be automatically downloaded to our database. Providers will also have access to this information. Until we are able to work out all of the issues associated with the IPad review, activity will be a combination of paper and mobile applications. Post-review feedback forms will be web-based and anonymous (Survey Monkey). The feedback form will be sent by supervisors electronically shortly after a review. The anonymity will help to address any fears of negativity on the part of the reviewers. Feedback forms will be shared with reviewers on a quarterly basis. Reviewers will not know where remarks came from.

The entire webinar can be accessed through the DHS Website at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7253037690122363905

State Operated Developmental Center News

Choate Center - During the 2017 calendar year to date, the Forensic Unit (Sycamore Lower) and Forensic Step-Down unit (Sycamore Upper) have made significant progress in assisting individuals in moving forward with their lives. The Forensic Unit has discharged 15 individuals to the Court or the community, and has successfully transitioned 19 additional individuals to the Forensic Step-Down Unit to continue treatment in that non-secure setting. In turn, the Forensic Step-Down Unit has successfully discharged 11 individuals to the community. The coordination of these two units, in utilizing this Forensic Step-Down model, has resulted in the ability of the Facility to avoid Rule to Show Cause court orders and to accommodate transfers from other Forensic facilities when appropriate.

Fox Center - Fox Center learned that the float designed and decorated by the Adult Training Rooms and Activities Department won first place in the Harvest Days Parade. Fox received a perfect score for its Roaring Twenties depiction, and was awarded a trophy and $100.00 prize.

Murray Center - Murray Center is gearing up for The Great American Shake Out which will be held on October 19. This worldwide earthquake drill is a great opportunity for people in homes, school and organizations to practice preparedness.

Shapiro Center - On October 1, 2017 individuals who participate in Best Buddies enjoyed their first event. A Meet & Greet was hosted at Shapiro for individuals to get acquainted with their Best Buddy, learn about one another and plan for future events.

DSP Wage Increase

Finally, before closing I want to amplify a point made earlier regarding implementation of the DSP $.75 Wage Increase pursuant to Public Act 100-0023. First, let me take this opportunity to commend service providers who - prior to this $.75 increase - were successful in finding ways to increase salaries for their DSPs and other employees, particularly in this current economic environment. That said, I want to affirm the Division's expectation that service providers implement the $.75 wage increase in a manner consistent with the legislative intent. That is not only our expectation, but also the expectation of the Department of Human Services, the Legislature, and thousands of self-advocates, families and other system stakeholders who advocated for the $.75 increase in recognition of the need to recruit and retain a competent workforce. If we fall short of that expectation, we run the risk of jeopardizing current and future efforts to attain a competitive wage for our DSPs - which is essential in ensuring the provision of consistent and quality care for those we serve.

The anticipated support of service providers is greatly appreciated!

Have a great weekend!