A few updates:
ICF/DDs RATE APPROVED
We are pleased to announce that our state plan amendment to increase ICF/DD rates by 3.5% has been approved, retroactive to 8/1/19. Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is responsible for administering the increase.
MINIMUM WAGE-RELATED RATE INCREASE
As promised HFS submitted waiver amendments for all DDD waivers to increase reimbursements to reflect minimum wage. All were submitted either prior to, or on, 12/2/19. As we've now received approval of the 3.5% in our State Plan, HFS will now begin the process of submitting another amendment to address the minimum wage-related pressures for ICF/DDs. A Q & A is forthcoming.
Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran an article "Why adults with developmental disabilities are waiting seven years, or longer, for programs they need to live on their own." We would like to provide the following statement in response:
IDHS exists to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are striving for independence, integration and inclusion in our society. We have made strides in the last year, but far too many individuals with disabilities who "age out" of the school system are waiting for appropriate services because these services were neglected and hollowed out for years. Too many parents are still struggling to help support their adult children with complex needs.
Our administration is working every day, in good faith with individuals, families and stakeholders, to dramatically improve the current system of services and supports. One example is our commitment to revising the rate methodology for developmental disabilities (DD) rates and services to ensure that our rates adequately support our community providers. (Kathy Carmody of the Institute for Public Policy for People with Disabilities and Ronnie Cohn, the court monitor in the Ligas case, were members of the IDHS Rates Oversight Committee that developed recommendations on DD system rate changes.)
The leadership team at IDHS is committed to proving to parents that we honor their devotion to their children and that we will be strong partners with them. Some of our actions to date include:
- Committing by 2025 to ensuring that no individual remains on the PUNS list 5 years after their 18th birthday.
- Moving more than 600 individuals off the PUNS list this year.
- Revising the PUNS list to distinguish individuals planning for services from those actively seeking services. (While there are close to 20,000 individuals on the PUNS, roughly 7,000 are actively seeking services.)
- Establishing a dedicated email account for inquiries about PUNS status and expected selection dates: DHS.DDD.PUNS@illinois.gov.
- Forging a deeper partnership between the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and the Rehabilitation Services so individuals leaving high school can immediately access vocational and employment supports.
- Submitting a federal Medicaid waiver amendment to increase wages for front-line workers to account for Illinois' increased minimum wage, so community-based DD providers can recruit and retain strong teams.
- Investing unprecedented levels of state support for the community-based system of services serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Getting this right - eliminating prolonged delays for disability services - requires we marshal and manage significant resources that can support individuals with disabilities to live self-determined lives in their communities.
Enjoy the rest of your day!