January 13, 2022
Dear Home Services Program Customers and Individual Providers:
The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Home Services Program (HSP), is committed to ensuring the health and safety of customers and Individual Providers (IPs). As you may be aware, HSP and the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois (SEIU) agreed to a Provider Background Screening Policy (The Policy) in February of 2020.
As you know, as a condition of enrollment in HSP, all potential IPs who apply to work for a HSP customer must undergo a background screening before they can be approved to start working for the customer. Additionally, all IPs must undergo a background screening during the Medicaid provider revalidation process that automatically occurs every 5 years. HSP must conduct these screenings in order to receive federal funding for services provided to HSP Customers. During this screening process, if certain felony convictions are found, the IP may not be approved to work for the Customer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DHS has not fully applied The Policy; however, beginning February 16, 2022, DHS will follow the language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
In accordance with The Policy, certain convictions are categorized as either waivable or non-waivable. HSP will notify the IP and the Customer of the background screening results if a felony conviction is found in a waivable or non-waivable category. The distinction is as follows:
If the screening results in a potential waivable conviction:
- The prospective or revalidating IP will be able to confirm or dispute the accuracy of the background screening results and submit additional information to HSP regarding the criminal conviction, which may be forwarded to the customer.
- The customer can choose to consent or not consent to having the IP with the felony conviction work for them.
- When HSP approves the dispute OR receives the Customer consent, HSP will provide notification that the IP can start to work for the customer.
If the screening results in a non-waivable conviction:
- The prospective or revalidating IP will be able to confirm or dispute the accuracy of the background screening results and submit additional information to HSP regarding the criminal conviction.
- If the identity of the IP and the screening result is confirmed, information submitted by the IP will be forwarded to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) for further review. OIG will determine whether to approve or deny the application and the customer and IP will be notified of the OIG's decision.
- If OIG approves the application:
- Customer and IP will be notified of this approval.
- IP will be allowed to work for any HSP customer.
- If OIG does not approve the application:
- IP will be notified that they are NOT allowed to work for the customer.
- IP will be provided with information by HFS on how to appeal the decision.
Please see the enclosure for a copy of The Policy, or visit https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=139244
The Home Services Program