May 15, 2018, Autism Taskforce Meeting

Illinois Department of Human Services


May 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 524-508-6879


  1. Introductions
  2. New Business
    1. ABA-EI
    2. Medicaid
  3. Division Updates (DD, EI, DRS,DMH, ISBE)
    1. Employment First
  4. Workgroup Updates
    1. Transition
    2. Ad Hoc Committee
    3. Insurance
    4. Act Early
  5. Old Business
    1. BCBA
  6. Announcements
  7. Next Steps
    1. Next Meeting: August 28, 2018 10:00 am to 12:00

Illinois Department of Human Services

Autism Taskforce Meeting

May 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 524-508-6879

I. Introductions

Patti Boheme, Pete DiCianni, Terry Herbstritt, Val Nanclares, Tania Morawiec, Christine Hammond, Matte Ovalle, Ann Cutler, Constance Williams, Sherri Ladislas, Brian Dacy, Melissa Gould, Amanda Brott, Zoubida Pasha, Nkechi Onwuameze, Virginia Murray, Jose Ovalle, Ruth Ann Sikora

II. New Business


Act Early: Two subcommittees established, one working with ABA. Early intervention had only 13 BCBA's they are well distributed but not enough. Many more providers are to start the credentialing process but the BCBA's don't seem to finish the process. It is important to get more ABA into Early intervention as a start. It is a mix of companies and some are private practice. We do not yet know what the barriers are and the plan is to find out. We would like to reach out to credentialed providers and see how they were successful with this process.


  • Seems like because there is no licensure it doesn't allow the BCBA to be part of the EI.
  • There has been some legislative change to allow for this in EI. There is an application on line under EI provider connections.
  • Parity for ABA would help for these services.
  • Michigan did pass BCBA licensure; Indiana does not but had parity with their ABA.
  • Rep Harris was quoted as saying it seems they want licensure in order to get parity for ABA. Hopefully through compromise language we can get this straightened out. We are putting together a workgroup over the summer.
  • Rep Brady is backing the licensure bill and wants to get this worked out. Would like the Parity bill passed also.
  • It will be a collaboration of us supporting this, we need an agreed upon language.

Licensure, anyone performing some sort of behavior analysis over the years seems to be opposed. How broad do you get with the language? Behavior analysis is going on without licensure.

We should consolidate the concerns for sending out.

We need to get providers on the working committee; there will be a couple meetings over the summer. Right now the bill is dead until we get the language ironed out. Trinity, Pactt, and TAP, Karen Fried, Brian Dacey, Ann Cutler, Patti Boheme, and Pete will be the working group.

B. Other:

Recommendations were made for new members to the Autism Task. We still need a self-advocate to be a member.

III. Division Updates

EI: New staff on board recently, a data manager which will help increase statistics for us.

DMH: 1115 waiver has been approved, Governor had a news conference last week discussing the waiver and how it will add more services for behavioral health.

Employment First: The 1115 waiver supports and includes housing and employment and this hopefully will establish precedence. Administrative directive efforts are in process for DHS agencies to work together in a more simplified manner. We are working on the public face of this effort. There are current efforts to create an administrative directive between DRS and DD. This is to help with the services and communication between the two divisions.

IV. Workgroup Updates:

Transition Committee: Tag a- grant from U.S department of education. Zoubida will send the information to Chris and Patti. Have some research based studies to bring up more results and outcomes.

Collecting success stories from Elmhurst College, Pete has connections to the school. Also Harper College and National Lewis University.

DuPage County will have their job fair for people with disabilities at the end of summer.

Act early: Robert Farley class action lawsuit settlement reached - the language is vague but still in process. Courts upheld the suit but not clear of the outcome in terms of us yet. It covers mental health.

The wait list for medical diagnostic services - even more of an issue for kids over the age of 3. We will be sending out a survey on barriers as well as kids with different insurance coverage. We are just waiting on couple more questions.

Numbers shifted on Autism to high functioning, Michelle Garcia's work received a lot of kickback from the behavior side as it is not evidence based.

This depends on its interpretation. Developing communication and language has not been successful but if it is used in conjunction with other curriculum and programs (superflex) Social thinking-Association for Science and Thinking. It cannot be taught at the college level as it is not evidenced based.

Diagnostic it is still raised at age 4 so we haven't seen the age of diagnosis drop. People are sitting on waitlists for a long time. A two year waitlist doesn't do any good for Early Intervention services, they miss that window. There really are no diagnostic services for people on public aid.

Tap program is giving money for evaluation but those spots are used up within weeks.

In DuPage 30-40% kids are Medicaid- trying to get screening for autism and hoping to have this at the first of the year for 2020.

Once you do the screening there is also nowhere for them to go. Many insurance companies are requiring the ADOS. This is not supposed to be used alone. It is a concern that the ADOS can capture the diagnosis. Schools rely on this to provide services. Insurance should not rely on only the ADOS. GARS is a screening and not a diagnostic test. The mandate is not the problem it is the insurance companies requiring this.

Using the STAT in multidisciplinary team is more efficient and not the extensive comprehensive diagnosis. It is an effective and efficient way to get kids through.

Insurance companies want consistency regardless of where the child falls and every 2-3 years, they go back and get a reassessment.

Bottom line is we need better rates of reimbursement to get a comprehensive diagnosis.

Survey for Act early, 186 families responded. Families with resources responded. Only 25% receiving ABA. Parents reported time and financial restraints as barrier. Private insurance families are 8x more likely to receive ABA. Half the families did not know about ABA.

ABA should be in school setting where it is the most needed.

V. Old Business:

BCBS rate decrease - conversations happening at a high level, we presented yesterday (Brian) with IllABA. We won't hear until after June 1, hoping it is not the 26% cut that was proposed. Some campaigns out there on the family's side.

VI. Announcements


VII. Next Steps

Email about work group

Send Terry comments for BCBA