- Per IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide COVID-19 positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 17-23, 2021 is 2.7%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from September 17-23, 2021 is 3.7%.
- The Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure and Certification (BALC) reports that there are seven providers who have not sent in their written mitigation plan to address failed life safety code inspections. Providers that do not send their plan in by September 30 (TODAY!) will be placed on admissions hold.
- An updated Supported Employment Information Bulletin which includes re-validation processes, along with specific provider letters on revalidating SEP billing is releasing shortly. Keep on the lookout. Questions contact Casey Burke.
DDD CAPACITY SURVEY
Tomorrow the Division will be issuing a survey in order to better understand service provider experience and support of individuals with IDD with co-occurring additional support needs (for example, high medical needs, accessible home or autism sensitive supports). The survey was developed in partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago. This survey will help to inform recommendations of how to grow and expand system capacity in order to meet the diverse needs of people with I/DD and their families across Illinois. While responding to this survey is voluntary, the Division is requesting each provider agency respond to this survey by October 14. Only one survey should be completed per provider agency by someone with a broad understanding of the organization, such as a director or CEO. The survey asks specific questions about a provider's capacity, experience and ongoing interest in serving individuals with different needs. This survey really will allow the Division to create detailed plans on system expansion. We understand it is a time commitment to complete, but it will really help the Division create plans for the future! Please contact Caitlin Crabb with questions.
FY 22 BUDGET UPDATE
The DDD continues to wait for approval of our State Plan amendment and our Waiver amendment to implement increases outlined in the FY 22 budget. We continue to anticipate that waiver funded increases will be effective January 1, 2022 pending Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approval.
Since the end of session, we've had a number of inquiries about the $1.50/hour increase for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) and ICF Aides. Throughout the legislative session, advocates pushed very publicly for increases that would solve long standing frontline staffing problems. For example, a Tribune article specifically cited inadequate funding to address minimum wage pressures and the acknowledgement that DSPs and Aides are only slightly above the minimum wage for jobs that require long hours of providing physical and mental care. Ultimately, the direction on how implementation of increases are allocated is dependent on the legislative intent of the Illinois General Assembly.
Unfortunately, there was mixed understanding of the legislative intent underlying the provision of DSP and Aide increases coming out of the FY 22 legislative session. Taking into account the feedback from members of the General Assembly, as well as conversations with our unions and Associations, providers, upon final approval from CMS, will need to directly pass through $.75 of the $1.50 to their DSPs and ICF Aides. The remaining $.75 will be required to go to increasing wages for frontline staff that are not specifically included in the BLS average wage adjustments (QIDPs, Supervisors, RNs, LPNs, etc). We understand that many providers have provided significant permanent increases to wages, so any increases provided since July 1, 2021 will count towards this wage increase. We will issue a formal Information Bulletin when increases have been approved.
Over the next several weeks, DDD staff will return to on-site reviews. We hope this provides some relief to providers that have struggled with the additional efforts required for remote reviews. These on-site visits may be suspended if a region experiences the following: substantial transmission (50-99 new cases per 100,000 population) or high transmission (=100 new cases per 100,000 population) in the last 7 days or any regression in mitigation tiers (County metrics can be found here). Health Facility Nurses started on Monday and the Bureau of Quality Management (BQM) reviews will begin on October 18 when they start FY 22 provider visits.
While the DD Advisory Committee (DDAC) is the primary way the Division collects stakeholder feedback (you can find our open meeting schedules and agendas here), we also have a number of functional workgroups that report to the DDAC, but do not require DDAC membership. We have two current workgroup opportunities:
AT & Enabling Technology Workgroup
We are looking for additional members to join our already meeting Assistive and Enabling Technology workgroup. The AT & Enabling Technology group has continued the work that was completed by the Ligas Assistive Technology Subcommittee. The group has contributed to the Remote Supports IB and provided feedback to Caitlin Crabb with UIC on the needs of technology assessment and implementation in the Person-Centered Planning Process. The group continues to look at ways to increase access that will expand the use of AT/ET in Illinois and is working to identify Technology Principles for Illinois. If interested, please reach out to Derek Hedges.
Supports Waiver Workgroup
We are also seeking members for our Support Waiver Workgroup. During the Spring legislative session, the General Assembly passed a Medicaid omnibus bill which was later signed into law by Governor Pritzker (Public Act 102-0043). With input from DDD, the bill asks for the Division to work with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and stakeholders to study and then develop/implement a supports waiver, with a limited number of slots and dependent on budget appropriation, specifically targeted at young adults with developmental disabilities. If interested, please reach out to Sarah Myerscough-Mueller.
LIGAS FAMILY ADVISORY COUNCIL TOWN HALL
Twice a year, the Ligas Family Advisory Council holds a town hall to get feedback from Ligas Class Members and hear updates about the latest service system changes. Join us virtually through webex on October 19 from 1-3 pm. Register for the Ligas Family Advisory Council town hall here. If you have any questions, please email Meg Cooch.
- Allison V. Stark
- Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities
- Illinois Department of Human Services
- 600 East Ash-Building 400, Springfield, IL 62703
- Tel: (217) 782 -6803
- The information contained herein should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official statutes, rules, regulations, or the advice of legal counsel.
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