Greetings! And Happy New Year!
Calendar year 2020 has now caught up with FY 20. Lots to communicate. Let's get moving!
Unfortunately, we have an issue with the Consolidated Accounting and Reporting System (CARS) which is used to pay our providers. Here is the official IDHS communication:
- IDHS has learned that IDHS's Consolidated Accounting and Reporting System (CARS), which is used to pay most of IDHS's providers, is experiencing a technical problem. We expect it to be resolved this week. As a result of the technical problem, however, some provider payments will be delayed.
- IDHS and the State's Department of Innovation and Technology have been working on repairs to CARS throughout the past weekend and a return to ordinary operations is expected this week. We will continue to update you on any new developments, particularly on our timeline for resolving this issue and processing payments.
- Should any further unexpected delays arise, IDHS will be in direct communication with impacted providers. We are sorry and we thank you for your work on behalf of IDHS and the residents we serve.
Please contact Bobby Gilmore, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions or payment delay queries.
DD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
As we start the new year, we are also starting a new committee! I'm pleased to announce that I will be accepting applications for the newly created DD Advisory Committee. This should not be confused with the Regulatory Advisory Board which provides feedback on our rule making process. This committee will provide a venue for stakeholders, including individuals with I/DD, families, ISCs, providers, Associations and governmental staff, to provide advice and recommendations on the activities of the Division and the Illinois DD service system. Specifically:
- Providing feedback on policy and processes that the Division is implementing.
- Establishing smaller work-groups meant to create new policy, processes, training and/or other deliverables that will positively impact the service system. These work-groups will bring in additional individuals not currently seated on the Advisory Committee that can best inform the topic or work-group need.
- Assisting the Division in obtaining feedback from individuals with I/DD in order to better inform services.
If you're interested in representing the provider perspective on this committee, please reach out to Andrea Medley at Andrea.Medley@illinois.gov for an application. Applications will be accepted through January 31st. I will do my best to have a broad representation of providers from across the state.
One of the challenges CILA providers face as we move more individuals into competitive integrated employment, is figuring out how to keep an individual's assets under the $2,000 SSI asset cap. This is exactly where ABLE accounts can help. I was familiar with ABLE accounts and have seen the impact they have on individuals with I/DD who are working. They've been a great, relatively new opportunity, for individuals with I/DD as a savings vehicle that allows them to maintain their benefits. I had a meeting last week with JJ Hanley, Director of IL ABLE, and am hopeful we can expand their use here in Illinois. You can find more info here: https://www.illinoistreasurer.gov/Individuals/ABLE. Providers can help individuals, who are their own guardians, establish accounts. Presentations are available on how to support individuals to open an ABLE account. You can contact Rosemary Laudani at email@example.com to get started.
With the start of 2020, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Life Safety Code changes go into effect. We will be issuing an Information Bulletin this week with specific instructions. A couple of thoughts and reminder:
As providers take into account their plans for compliance, there may be an opportunity to receive financial assistance from the Division of Developmental Disabilities through its "Adaptive Equipment, Assistive Technology, Home and Vehicle Modification Request Process." In order to aid in this process, an updated Information Bulletin is in its final edits and will be released soon. The bulletin includes specific instructions for both sprinkler requests and replacement of existing windows to meet secondary emergency exit requirements. Reimbursement limits remain in effect including the maximum lifetime reimbursement of $15,000 per CILA site. If you are unsure whether or not this $15,000 threshold has been utilized, please contact George Bengel at George.Bengel@illinois.gov
We are also aware that there have been questions about rental sites and landlord cooperation. The OSFM regulations do not distinguish between rental and ownership status. With that being said, individuals that own, rent, lease or otherwise control their own home are exempt from this requirement. Provider owned, rented, leased or otherwise controlled, are not exempt.
In all case the Department urges providers to wait for the results of their OSFM survey under the new regulations before moving forward, or requesting funding, for Home Modifications.
While the OSFM will be surveying under the updated code, many providers have also asked for guidance on a timeframe for compliance with any deficiencies noted during the survey. The normal 30-day window to come into compliance following a survey will be extended. In situations where compliance is expected to take an extended period of time, assessments will be done on a case by case basis. The ability of a provider to demonstrate a plan for achieving compliance will be part of that case by case assessment. I hope this helps!
As always, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org