July 18, 2013- Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Illinois Primary Healthcare
500 South Ninth Street
Springfield, Illinois


  1. Call to Order 
  2. Introduction of Council Members
  3. Welcome of New Council Members 
  4. Approval of April 4, 2013 Draft Meeting Report
  5. Results of RFPs Amy Tarr
  6. EI Legislation, EI Adm. Rules 
  7. I2S Workgroup Amy Tarr 
  8. Medical Diagnostic Workgroup 
  9. APR/SPP Changes 
  10. Early Learning Council Update 
  11. Service Delivery Approach Workgroup 
  12. Telehealth
  13. Adjournment

Meeting Report


  • J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, CALM, Inc.
  • Karen Berman, IL Early Learning Council Designee
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children
  • Brenda Devito, CFC #6 Manager
  • Matthew Grey, IL Department of Public Health
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Peter Niccum, CFC #20 Manager
  • Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thornton
  • Pam Reising-Rechner, IL State Board of Education
  • Gina Ruther, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley
  • Betty Elliott and Janene VanBebber for Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Amy Tarr, Division of Family and Community Services


  • Julie Doetsch, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start
  • Mary Petersen, Department of Insurance
  • Dorelia Rivera Martinez, parent, Elmwood
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Constance Williams, PhD, DHS/Division of Mental Health
  • Susan Tromley, IL Department of Children and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Health & Disabilities Advocates

Contents of Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Draft Meeting Report - April 4, 2013
  • Illinois' APR/SPP Determination Letter and Attachments
  • Results Driven Accountability (RDA) PowerPoint Presentation

Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) convened at 10:00 a.m. Bob Cammarata chaired the meeting for Beatrice Nichols.

Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves.

Welcome of New Members

Amy Tarr introduced new council members and each provided his/her background and involvement with Early Intervention (EI). New members include, Karen Berman, IL Early Learning Council Designee, Amy Zimmerman, Health & Disabilities Advocates, Brenda Devito, CFC #6 Manager, and Peter Niccum, CFC #20 Manager. Ms. Zimmerman was not able to attend the meeting.

Approval of April 4, 2013 Meeting Report

The April 4, 2013 Meeting Report was approved as written.

Request for Proposal Results

Amy Tarr provided an update of the results of the request for proposals.

  • The EI Training Program contract for FY14 is held by University of Illinois/ Champaign. A lot of the same staff remain with the EI Training Program and include Ted Burke, Susan Connor, Chelsea Guillen, and Keena Sims.
  • The EI Credentialing Office contract is again held by Western Illinois University, with the same staff working in the credentialing office.
  • A contract for CFC offices #14 and #16 is held by Easter Seals UCP. The bureau has been working with James Runyon and Erin Rogers at Easter Seals. Gary Reed is the CFC #14 manager and Maggie Jones CFC #16 manager.
  • The EI Clearinghouse contract with University of Illinois/Champaign has been extended through 8/31/13. The deadline for proposals to the EI Clearinghouse RFP was 7/12/13.
  • The EI Monitoring program with Suburban Access Inc has been extended through 9/29/13. The RFP was posted yesterday and proposals are due 8/14/13.

Amy introduced Alecia Butler, administrative assistant, who has joined the bureau and is assisting with AT requests and other issues.

EI Legislation, EI Admin Rules

Amy Tarr explained the rulemaking timeline. The EI rule has completed public comment. The bureau is working on responses. It is difficult to say how much time it will take to complete process.

The EI bill passed both Houses and has received the Governor's signature. Assurances are now in place that will allow the State to use a family's private insurance, without its consent. Two days ago, changes to the CFC Procedure Manual were posted for public comment and, in 30 days, there will be a public hearing. By 9/1/13, the program will be working to convert families that had chosen not to use private insurance to use of their insurance.

IFSP to Services (I2S) Workgroup

Amy Tarr provided an update of the work of the I2S Workgroup, which is trying to address long-standing noncompliance with timely services, as reported in the Annual Performance Report. The workgroup involves CFC offices 18, 19, 20, 22, and 25. Amy shared several strategies used by these CFC offices, including using an Internet-based recruitment site and, in designating provider shortage areas, supporting new providers to build caseloads by not allowing evaluators to retain some families and directing those referrals to new providers. The definition of provider shortage areas was provided, and the implementation of this strategy and its impact on parent choice were discussed. The strategy does not prevent associate-level providers from providing direct services.

Parent choice was recognized as an emerging issue. Polices regarding parent choice were discussed. The Bureau is focusing on parent choice in the CFC Procedure Manual, recognizing that parent choice is a priority unless it cannot be given (i.e., use of insurance, designated provide shortage areas, etc.) and making sure that it is consistent throughout the state. Practical logistic issues of provider selection were identified.

Other strategies used by the I2S Workgroup include working with existing provider agencies to expand services to southern Illinois, having Credential office staff speak to CFC managers, reviewing the credential packet, and setting no-show policies, looking particularly at the 30-day notice requirement to end services. Karen Berman is going to look into the issue of families waiting for services and their ability to go outside of the system for services paid by EI. Issues around services in natural environments were discussed. It was recognized that other states are using teletherapy to help meet needs in rural areas.

Medical Diagnostic Workgroup

Eileen DeRoze provided information about the Medical Diagnostic Workgroup.

  • This bureau workgroup is looking at issues around the authorization and reporting of medical diagnostic evaluations.
  • Workgroup members include 7 CFC managers, 2 physicians, and 2 pediatric consultative services specialists.
  • Scope of the workgroup include:
    • Update of the Medical Services Description in the EI Service Descriptions, Billing Codes and Rates document;
    • Review of format and content of medical diagnostic evaluation reports;
    • Provide physician guidance the on report format; and
    • Provide information for parents on medical diagnostic evaluations.
  • The workgroup has met twice by phone and has a meeting on July 19, 2013.
  • Initial discussions have focused on the Medical Services description to better define when a medical diagnostic evaluation is appropriate, to specify physician subspecialties to provide the evaluations, and to encourage use of available current evaluations. The issue of discussion in the report format has been the inclusion of service recommendations and their impact on families and the IFSP team.
  • When the draft report format and Medical Services Description are available, they will be provided to the IL Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Childhood Development for its input.

Annual Performance Report (APR)/State Performance Plan (SPP) Changes

Eileen Deroze provided information on changes to the APR/SPP process.

  • The APR for fiscal year 2013 (ending June 30, 2013), will be submitted in February 2014 and will not change in format or content.
  • Changes go into effect for the current fiscal year (2014). The APR for this time period will be submitted in February 2015.
  • Information was shared about the vision and principles of Results Driven Accountability, including how well early-identification systems are implementing evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
  • Changes streamline several APR reporting requirements and eliminate two indicators, C9, timely correction of noncompliance, and C14, timely and accurate data.
  • A new indicator, a comprehensive State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), will be rolled out in three phases for the state to assess the capacity of its current infrastructure systems and its ability to enhance this infrastructure to increase the capacity of CFC offices and EI providers to implement, scale up, and sustain evidence-based practices that will result in improved outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
  • The first phase includes data analysis, identification of a focus for improvement, analysis of infrastructure to support improvement and build capacity, and theory of action.
  • The second phase includes infrastructure development, support of local implementation of evidence-based practices, and an evaluation plan.
  • Phase three is ongoing evaluation and revisions to the SSIP.
  • Bureau staff will meet with regional TA staff for additional information about the SSIP later this month.
  • Council members discussed what partners the planning process should include and identified families, Head Start/Early Head Start, agencies involved in transition, and other interested parties. It was recognized that this effort supports national and state movements toward budgeting for results. Questions were raised about how this effort will meet federal requirements to align with other initiatives going on in the state.

Early Learning Council Update

Karen Berman provided an overview of the Early Learning Council (ELC) and the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, including the following topics.

  • ELC committee and subcommittee structure
  • Office of Early Childhood Development in the Governor's office
  • Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant ($50 million)
  • Reform agenda and strategic focus. (The focus is on education and child care programs and the two main goals are program improvement and ensuring that high need children receive high quality supports and programs.)
  • New QRIS system for child care programs, its structure, and requirements related to child screening and inclusion
  • The need for input for an Award of Excellence for inclusion

Issues to ponder include where children with special needs are served now, what are the school readiness and future special education needs of children referred to EI that were found ineligible, and what supports are needed to help program to meaningfully include all children with disabilities. Everyone is welcome to engage in ELC work. Meeting information is posted on the Office of Early Childhood Development website. EI's valuable role in the system and potential benefits from the grant were discussed. Amy Tarr provided information about a video for child care providers that the EI Training Program will be developing.

Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup Report 

 Chelsea Guillen provided an update of the work of the Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup. The group has met four times, discussing challenges around service delivery and service delivery models and approaches. A focus of the group has been barriers in the system to successful teaming. The group will be identifying recommendations to address those barriers.

Work on updating the EI approved list of evaluation/assessment tools was discussed and the council was asked how it would like to proceed with making those recommendations available to the bureau. The workgroup has recommended additions to the list and those have been approved by a Department of Healthcare and Family Services committee. The Service Delivery Approaches workgroup has also recommended that some tools be deleted. A distinction has been made between tools used for determining eligibility and those that provide a broader understanding of strengths and needs for intervention planning. The council agreed that , when the draft list is ready for review, it can be sent to council members for a quick review and comment and then forwarded to the Bureau.

Progress on the work of this group was discussed. Future work includes completing discussions of IFSP implementation and transition and pulling information into a comprehensive set of recommendations. The hard work and dedication of this workgroup was recognized.

Telehealth/Teletherapy Follow-up Discussion

Kathy Schrock stated that the workgroup has met once since the last council meeting. It looked at details of survey responses from states on how they are using telepractice/teletherapy. The group has developed questions and plans to speak with the Part C coordinators from two or three of these states. A major barrier in Illinois is the lack of Medicaid reimbursement, although it is not uncommon that these services are covered by Medicaid. The group will get more direction on this as part of the call with the selected Part C coordinators. Although not a big part of Illinois' service model, telehealth could be an option to address unmet service needs. Amy Tarr informed the group that there will be a breakout session on telehealth that Ted Burke will attend at OSEP's annual conference.


The next meeting date of October 3, 2013 was confirmed. It was recognized that the EI budget for FY2014 includes an increase to address projected case load increases. The meeting adjourned at 12:13pm.

Contact Information

If you are interested in more information regarding this council, please contact:

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe
Springfield, IL  62701
Ph:  217/782-1981

email:  jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov