November 15, 2018, Autism Taskforce Meeting

Illinois Department of Human Services
Autism Taskforce Meeting


November 15, 2018

10am - 12pm


Springfield: 100 S. Grand Avenue East, 3rd Executive Video Conference Room

Chicago: 401 S. Clinton, 7th Floor, IDHS Executive Video Conference Room

Conference Number: 888-494-4032 access 834-224-3963


  1. Introductions
  2. New Business
  3. Division Updates (DD, EI, DRS,DMH, ISBE)
  4.  Workgroup Updates
    1. Transition
    2. Insurance
    3. Act Early
  5. Old Business
    1. BCBA Subcommittee
  6. Announcements
  7. Next Steps

I. Introductions:

Patti Boheme, Sherry Ladislas, Ann Cutler, Terry Herbstritt, Randy Staten, Christine Hammond, Dr Brouillard, Mary Baterhand, Colleen Shinn, Brian Dacy, Debra Vines, Tony DiVittorio, James Runyon, Amy Cohen, Candice Gizewski, Kit Obrien-Cota, Ruth Ann Sikora, Melissa Gould, Theresa Forthofer, N. Onwuameze, Matia Ovalle, Virginia Murray

II. New Business:

New Business committee

ABA funded through Medicaid (Pete)

Jim Runyon- Doing prep work related to this Linda Tortorelli has been doing outreach to legislators and key stakeholders proposing a half- day session to get our arms around this - EI, self-funded health plans, huge deductibles, kids just not getting the therapy. Looking for system wide change and making sure we all understand the pieces to this and do a face to face to create a strategy to move forward in the spring.

We join forces to pool information so we are all working together. Pulling money from the waiver and putting it toward Medicaid. It makes sense to get together to get people to meet in person and do a half day on it. Linda would like to join the task force to be part of it. Debra Vines wants to be part as well as Brian Dacy. Candy Gizewski and Pete DiCianni would be logical chairs. Karen and Ann signed up additionally. ABA licensure was a real first step.

Chris and Pete will to get a date together. Pete and Linda will connect first and determine the next step. Timing is important as well due to the spring session coming up soon. Patti will call Linda and see about getting those two together.

There is a Farley settlement, not everyone has been able to review on the Medicaid aba lawsuit.

III. Division Updates (DD, EI, DRS,DMH, ISBE)

DD: Kit- No specific updates to presents

Comment: Back in May, I received a notice 1115 behavioral Waiver was approved but no details about implementation of the waiver. Kit will check into as she has no details on this.

IV. Workgroup Updates

a. Transition Committee

Report submitted from Employment First:

Several items in the report similar to what the transition committee has been proposing but the implementation is TBD. Much information is included in the report but not being acted upon. We would like to see if we can be a driving force to push this forward.

The issues are large and complicated for something that is pretty straight forewarned. As a task force we are an advisory body maybe we can meet with the people who hold the purse strings.

We need to be advising the people about recommended changes who are going to be able to make changes.

Autism speaks has a lot of initiatives on employment right now. makes sure to provide support for the entire spectrum.

Systems change issues. We are doing a disservice by not letting service providers; schools know they have to go the extra mile.

Have to have supports and then have to have capacity.

Comment - I did get one job at a sushi restaurant and didn't go well but I have three part time jobs in the Autism field and it is going well. At school the Mental health program started recently- only three participants and looking for 40 participants. Grupo Salto is trying to partner with them and collaborate. It requires job coaching social skills and employers need to know the participants need support.

Jim Runyon in Peoria is working with James Emmet to craft a sustainable employment model. They might be a good resource for the transition committee.

We need more standardization in how we deal with job readiness. We have people who are college bound and other types of skills, its how to best prepare people. We have to figure out a way for our folks to be employed.

Interagency committee status became Public Act in 2018 rolled it into the EEOPD.

b. Insurance (discussed previously)

c. Act Early

The group met approximately one month ago

Interviewed BCBA providers to get views on how it was going, looking to get more credentialed providers. Sited a number of concerns; they all said they get very few referrals for EI. Half had already been working as speech therapist or something else. There is a lot of misunderstanding about it and stereotyping as a discrete form of therapy and not how it has evolved over the years. There is confusion on who to refer children too. ABA is not often considered due to familiarity overall. There is underuse and misunderstanding. As part of that we provided more education to EI providers. In March, 2019 there will be a presentation and series of webinars. Chelsea Guillen is ombudsman for EI and hope she can help with the work.

Billing issues -having own codes or speech and OT have to bill through the psychology and behavioral. Jim advocating it has its own codes. The one hour was standard but it is supposed to be individualized. This is an area where licensure and Medicaid will be highly effective and also be more open to more hours. EI- ABA should be intense and one hour will not be effective. Education of families and other team members will help the impact this.

Survey to diagnostic sites to look at wait lists and we are ready to send out that survey. Looking for the best person to send this too who has knowledge to answer those questions - contact person so we can include you. Send email to

V. Old Business

BCBA subcommittees- back in April 2018 the ATF generated a letter to the task force that made the previous iteration of the license act that we could not support. In particular QIDP as well as special Ed from starting basic behavior plans, they felt this was not prudent to the state of Illinois financially. Amanda and Brian and Karen looked at the current language and it has been changed in a way that addressed those concerns. We want to talk about the new language and send out to receive written comments.

There is a current listing of who is exempt.

Does not prohibit wide meeting requirement - Karen read all the language. That person can function within the title of their role.

This act did not prohibit an individual licensed under any under role of the state….. (School professionals, OT, Speech)

Worked with the QIDP folks on this language - we don't want to prohibit this within schools and institutions. This is the first domino that will help with medical parity so it's important to get it right from everyone's standpoint. As long as exempt individuals are not representing themselves as behavioral analysts when they are not. We looked closely at different states. This language encompasses many professionals and will help down state where they don't have BCBA numbers.

QIDPs are not certified in the state, they are listed at DHS. Supporting documents are reviewed and they are approved but not called certified but approved through the state. Karen stated the language captures that for the QIDP.

Question asked about the trickle down - it is the implementers who are not under a licensure, the ones who are doing the hands on aid - personal support workers and how are they affected. Karen replied -this proposed licensure controls BCBA and makes clear whose activities the licensure doesn't hinder. It does not control any other context out of the BCBA realm.

Others are implementing but they are going to be under someone like a teacher or QIDP.

The licensure at its core prohibits people from calling themselves a BCBA; it is not aimed to disrupt activities to any other supporting group.

We will get the language out and get another vote to move forward.

The ATF thanked the three committee members and look forward to reviewing the new language. We can then move forward on a letter.

Brian stated the language should make sure we have protection from LLC and companies?

Asking for feedback for written comments by end of November. And then we will go to vote.

Brian will send the language to Christine.

Are support is contingent on the following suggestions:

Everything underlined in black is language updated since pre 2018, red is what we discussed today.

Any other issues in legislation? What you will see in the draft are other sections that have been changed by legislators concerns. Mostly outlining qualifications of BCBA.

VI. Announcements


VII. Next Steps

Question for the ATF - Does anyone know anything on the new codes or problems to be looking for. If you can get some to join ABA international on the CPC codes but too many to summarize. In 2019, ABA international in Chicago for 4 day seminar. Very expensive but can pick day for the CPC codes.