DDD Communication, June 16, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I hope everyone is enjoying the shift to warm weather. I know that things always seem sunnier when the world is sunnier. I hope everyone is socially distancing in the great outdoors!


Have you seen our newly-redesigned IDHS Website? We're hopeful the new design will make accessing our site easier for all.


Today CILA COVID-19 agency reported positive cases will be posted on the IDHS COVID-19 webpage. They will be organized by provider and count. They will represent a cumulative total. As you know, the Division has requested that each provider report COVID-19 positive individuals served to their respective Independent Service Coordination (ISC) Agency. The ISCs have been sending this information to the Division on a weekly basis. Again, please remember that these are agency self-reported numbers.


The Division is in the process of preparing PUNS selection letters to be sent out. We expect to send out around 1,589 PUNS selection letters the week of July 13. Most of the individuals who will receive selection letters previously received early notification letters in December 2019. We are currently working with the ISC agencies to finalize the list of individuals that will be included in this selection. For questions, please contact Mike Vespa, Manager for Program Development at Michael.Vespa@Illinois.gov.


In accordance with the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program, the Division's Bureau of Quality Management (BQM) is responsible for a quality improvement strategy which meets Federal CMS waiver requirements. BQM will be performing remote reviews for the remainder of the FY20 waiver sample in order to fulfil the waiver requirements. We anticipate this extending past July 1. The annual reviews were initially conducted onsite at the agencies providing the waiver services (i.e., residential site, community day services site, home-base site). The remaining reviews will be done by remote review. BQM will be requesting that providers submit documentation to the Bureau in order for the reviewers to review compliance remotely. The reviewers will be contacting the providers individually to identify any additional or missing information that is needed. A follow-up onsite visit may be required once travel and visits are an option. We'll keep providers posted. For questions please contact Cynthia SchierlSpreen, Bureau Chief, BQM at Cynthia.SchierlSpreen@Illinois.gov.


The Health Facilities Surveillance Nurses will also be completing their annual surveys. We expect these to also extend past July 1. We request that providers send identified review documents (for example: staff training documents, Nursing Assessments, SAMAs and MARs) via secure communications (HIPAA compliant) to the Division. This can be done via fax or encrypted email. Providers should identify a contact person at agency that the surveyor can contact if any issues with requested documents.

The use of video technology, of the provider agency's choosing, will be used to facilitate a thorough nurse review. This includes observing a medication pass, interviewing the RN Trainer, interviewing an ADSP and, finally, conducting the Survey Exit. The Division's expectation is that the provider agency's Executive Director, RN Trainer and other key staff will be involved in the Survey Exit. For questions please contact Anne Fitz, Statewide Nursing Coordinator at Anne.Fitz@illinois.gov


As a reminder, as of July 1, all new HRST screens or updates must be done electronically. The next Clinical Reviewers training for nurses will be on June 26 at 10 am. You can register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6025779325219586319


The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has asked for help to get the word out to providers that could benefit from this federal opportunity. A Provider Notice about the federal CARES Act was posted to the HFS Website and Coronavirus page on Friday 6/12. You can find it here: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalProviders/notices/Pages/prn200612b.aspx

We're in this together.