May 29, 2020
A lot is happening within the Division! Let's go!
We now have a webpage solely dedicated to these communications. We will organize them by date and topics will be in the title. I hope this is helpful in case you would like to look back on previous communications. You can find the new site here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=78358
As you probably know, the Illinois General Assembly passed the FY21 budget last Saturday. The budget includes a move to $14.00 in our frontline wage reimbursement rates effective July 1st and a move to $14.50 effective January 1, 2021, both of which were included in the Governor's introduced budget. We are awaiting clarification on legislative intent on the increases in wages.
Please note: federal CMS also has to approve amendments for all three DDD Waivers, and HFS must receive a state plan amendment before the rate changes can be entered into the payment systems.
The approved budget also includes funding for new PUNS list placements in FY 21. Once the General Assembly sends the Governor the bills, he will have 30 days to sign. We thank the Governor and our legislators for their support!
RESTORE ILLINOIS PHASE 3 GUIDANCE
We know individuals, families and providers are anxiously awaiting guidance on Community Day Services as well as other changes that may occur with the move into Phase 3. As has previously been communicated, CDS will not resume through the month of June.
I understand that there have been some questions in regards to workshops and sheltered workshops. To be clear, workshops that receive funding for 31U or another waiver program billing code, should remain closed. The broad range of CDS programs that are offered all have one thing in common - they are congregate settings. The Division wants to ensure that these settings, funded through waiver dollars, open safely.
With the move to Phase 3, however, some changes should be considered. They include:
- Plans between providers and families to support individuals to return to their residential setting.
- Family visitation policies for residential sites. Providers should develop policies using IDPH and CDC guidelines that consider factors such as home specific, and/or local, COVID-19 case activity, resident health, resident safety, and if appropriate safeguards can be implemented, including social distancing and mask use.
- Resumption of activities in the community for individuals consistent with Restore Illinois Phase 3 guidance, as well as IDPH and CDC guidelines. This would also include social distancing with individuals living outside of the home, as well as appropriate mask use.
Below is guidance that may be used in your decision-making. We realize that released guidance changes often so please check back regularly:
A great resource for providers related to reopening offices can be found on the DCEO website: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/RestoreILP3.aspx.
Note: I would caution providers in using childcare guidance provided for applicability to CDS sites. In addition, I would also caution providers in using guidance for the manufacturing sector in regard to their workshops, unless these sites do not receive waiver funding - which would designate them as a CDS program. Again, the Division intends to issue specific guidance in the coming month considering the population and individual specific vulnerabilities of individuals with I/DD.
I anticipate sending out changes that can be anticipated effective July 1st in the coming week. I appreciate your patience.
ACL GRANT RECEIVED
I'm pleased to announce that DDD, in partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL).
The funding will be used to purchase technology devices through the Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) for individuals with disabilities and older adults including iPads, tablets and internet/Wi-Fi/hotspots to increase social engagement and connectedness.
The devices will have applications like FaceTime, Zoom, mental stimulation, telehealth and others so individuals can connect with family members, friends, and providers. IDoA, IATP, DRS and DDD are currently working to establish an application process. More to come!
All communications and the FAQs on the PPP can be found here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=123118. Please review these materials prior to reaching out for clarification from Division staff.
Here is a brief recap to date:
In an effort to maximize federal funding, IDHS has asked all IDHS-funded organizations receiving retention payments (if their service delivery has been reduced or stopped) to apply for a PPP loan through the Small Business Administration. DDD has previously supplied a list of specific programs that this applies to. They include:
- Fee-for-Service (FFS) Community Day Services
- FFS Agency Based Personal Support Workers
- FFS Waiver Funded Supported Employment
- FFS Bogard Specialized Services - Agency Based
- FFS ISSA
- Grant-funded Group Respite
- Grant-funded Latino Outreach
- Grant-funded Best Buddies
- Grant-funded Epilepsy Services
- Grant-funded Dental Services
- Grant-funded Autism Services
- This does not apply to 60D/CILA services or any other service that is continuing to be provided.
- Organizations approved for PPP loans will have their retention payments reduced based on the loan amount.
- April retention payments are being held for those organizations that haven't responded to the April survey sent out by IDHS (link here).
- If your organization was approved for PPP, you will be asked to provide the loan's disbursement date in order for IDHS to prorate your retention payment. The request for disbursement date will come from the Division directly.
- For May payment, a new survey will be released in early June. Providers will be asked to complete a certification on their PPP status since there may be providers whose status has changed since the April survey. Similar to April, if your organization was approved for PPP, the Division will be asking for the date of disbursement to again prorate the retention payments accordingly.
- After the 8-week period covered by the PPP loan, IDHS will resume retention payments for the remainder of Fiscal Year 20.
I want to stress, again, that if your organization has extenuating circumstances around the receipt of your PPP loan, we are working on a process of reconciliation and will work with providers on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Bobby.Gillmore@illinois.gov with any additional questions.
BED HOLD EXTENSION REQUESTS
Many providers have already submitted bed hold extension requests for individuals staying with family during the Stay at Home Order. Bed hold extension Requests received by Monday, June 1, 2020 will be entered into the billing system in time for your May billing. Bed hold extensions received after June 1, 2020 will be entered, but not in time for your May billing. If you do not get paid for the 61st - 90th day of bed hold you should check with your region staff.
Be well. We know you're doing your best. Hang in there. We're in this together.