Operational Offices


The mission of the Office of Accessibility and Customer Support (OACS) is to ensure that customers, providers, and staff receive timely and accurate information and assistance that supports actualization of the goal of selfsufficiency and independence for all IDHS clients, consumers, and customers.


  • The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) requires Illinois agencies and universities to ensure that their web sites, systems, and other information technologies are accessible to people with disabilities. As required by the Act, the IDHS worked with a broad range of experts and stakeholders to establish standards by August 31, 2008, that are effective, practical, and aligned with existing federal and international standards. As IDHS continues to upgrade its office locations, it will be instrumental to maintain a database of IDHS accessibility recommendations based on site surveys conducted by staff. The database is being built with the assistance of MIS utilizing the Adobe environment. Meetings have been held with Illinois CMS and MIS to clarify the database technical requirements. One of the accessibility technologies IDHS is considering Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). Upon implementing VRI, IDHS will have an opportunity to improve communication access within the IDHS offices for customers who are deaf and hard of hearing. This project has been delayed due to procurement and equipment issues. DRS announced a VRI vendor in February 2009. Beginning in September 2008, IDHS formed a work group to institute ADA training for supervisors. The team developed training materials and utilized the department's NetLearning Coordinator to establish a computer-based learning curriculum for supervisors on the ADA entitled, "Meeting the Challenge of Inclusion". Rollout of the on-line course is anticipated by May 2009. In terms of implementing the "Illinois Community Accessibility Network," IDHS has collected provider-monitoring tools from various entities to evaluate for accessibility provisions.
  • In order to improve efficiencies utilizing the existing technology of the IDHS Helpline operations, in September 2007 the Automated Phone Stamps Interview (PSI) was launched. This automated process provided improved access to IDHS services for the population, which is eligible to use the PSI, thereby reducing the number of IDHS customers who would need to visit an IDHS office for re-determination of benefits. In furthering opportunities to automate, the department has obtained price quotes from a current vendor to establish an automated method to capture and deliver an IDHS customer change of address, out of state data and Medicaid spend down information. In addition, in order to update the IDHS Helpline technology to include multi-channel access, IDHS has engaged in preliminary discussions with CMS Knowledge Management to ascertain best practices information given this will likely require procurement of additional hardware and software to update the department's telephony system. Funding has not yet been allocated for these objectives. Nearly 3 million customers were assisted through the IDHS Helpline. The average length of IDHS Helpline calls (end of the quarter 2, FY 09) was 60 minutes for agent assisted calls (due in part to resource availability) and three minutes for the IVR system. The current percentage of IDHS Helpline calls abandoned is 19.9 percent (quarter 2, FY 09).
  • Since the end of 2007, the Chicago Lighthouse, (CLH) a state use vendor has handled the Recipient Identification Number (RIN) Assignment Project for IDHS. The staff hired for this project were trained and began processing RIN solely on their own in January 2008, at which time they processed nearly 30,000 and RIN, which is a monthly production record. To date, staff hired includes persons with disabilities who are managed by the Chicago Lighthouse (CLH) to oversee Recipient Identification Number (RIN) operations for a total of nearly 295,000 and RIN. In February 2009, the number of RIN assigned by IDHS reached the one million mark. The CLH currently maintains a 99 percent processing rate within its contractual obligations. Performance criteria require CLH to process RIN requests within three days of receipt. By utilizing the RIN, the state is able to increase the Medicaid match obtained to deliver critical human services. In addition, IDHS convened the I-Serve Committee to continue reviewing the proposed Business and Technical Scope requirements that will assist MIS in securing a CMS charter to address the RIN operations, ensuring that each customer has an unique identifier within IDHS programs. MIS has proposed a software solution that will work with legacy systems to ensure that RIN are assigned according to the department's hierarchy.
  • The Platinum Customer Service "Going the Extra Mile" (PCS GEM) objective began as a Smart Path initiative and now serves as a primary focus of IDHS employees at the core of all work duties. PCS GEM recognizes that employees are IDHS' most important assets. The PCS GEM goals include providing training to empower employees, recognizes jobs well done via regular awarding and creates a workplace culture of  caring and respect. The PCS Committee is meeting quarterly with customer service standards focus. Ten GEM Standards have been identified and placed on PCS GEM Intranet site. A pilot customer satisfaction survey was completed at 22 IDHS local DHCD/DRS offices. A presentation on survey results was given to Division Directors in February 2009. Survey results will be placed on the PCS GEM Intranet site. A draft version of the Customer Satisfaction Survey tool was presented at the Division Directors Meeting in February 2009 to recommend for placement on the IDHS Internet.
  • The PCS Committee established the PCS GEM Intranet site to post interactive examples of customer service. There are also periodic articles put in On-the-One, Solutions Magazine, DHCD Heads Up, DRS First Page and BEASS Employee Newsletter. The Division of Rehabilitation Services has endorsed PCS GEM in place of its long-standing World Class Customer Service Initiative. Smart Path Liaisons will be the vehicle for on the spot and annual Awards program. Award forms were shared in September, 2008, and posted on the PCS GEM Intranet site. The Bureau of Training and Development has a PCS training Intranet site to categorize courses that apply to PCS. The specific PCS related NetLearning curriculum is still under development.


The Office of the Budget consists of three bureaus: Operations, Transitional Services, and Community Programs. The Office of the Budget forecasts costs and revenues, and develops budget management strategies that help to maximize the impact of state appropriations. The Budget Office works closely with the Administration, especially the Bureau of the Budget. Narrative statements explaining the budget and complete budget requests are presented to the Bureau of the Budget for the Governor's review. The Governor presents his recommended annual budget to a joint session on the third Wednesday of February. The budget may be introduced either as a series of agency appropriation bills or as a single piece of legislation. Once the General Assembly passes the budget, the Governor must sign the appropriation bills before monies can be spent.

In order to streamline and improve the budget development and implementation process, IDHS continues a periodic review of budget issues. Part of this review focuses on a detailed comparison and analysis of estimated spending to actual budget performance. The review process helps identify budget issues sooner, allowing more time to implement management decisions.


The Office of Business Services (OBS) is responsible for the day-to-day business transactions of IDHS in the following areas: facility contracts and procurement, central office procurement, administrative vouchering, travel coordination, forms design, facility operations, Springfield/Chicago warehouse, print shop, mail processing, records storage, capital projects and inventory control.


  • The Illinois General Assembly enacted the Green Governments Illinois Act (Public Act 95-0657), effective October 10, 2007. The goal of this Act is to institutionalize "green thinking" into the daily operations of the state government to improve the quality of life for people served. IDHS employees have changed their way of thinking and made a conscious effort to think "green" before acting. IDHS has put forth a lot of effort in meeting or exceeding the objectives listed.


The Office of Clinical, Administrative and Program Support (OCAPS) supports the mission of IDHS through effective and efficient management of clinical, administrative, and program support services to DASA, DDD, DMH, DRS and DHCD.


  • The Division of Mental Health (DMH) and the Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure, and Certification (BALC) have worked very closely this past two years in the planning and implementation of the modification and enhancement of the monitoring process for Medicaid Community Mental Health Services. The plan included a methodical and systematic analysis and transfer of responsibilities from BALC to the Administrative Service Organization. At the same time DMH and BALC identified new complimentary activities which BALC assumed and implemented. Training activities were developed and implemented and received positive responses from the community based providers.
  • The Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure, and Certification (BALC) have worked very closely this past year in the planning and implementation of improvements of the licensure process for Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs). A complete review of the CILA rule, the Developmental Training Rule and the interpretive guidelines for each were completed, deficiencies noted, and clarifications made as needed.
  • A more efficient web-based application was developed and implemented for the reporting system. Hospital reporting requirements were changed from monthly to weekly. Notification of the reporting requirements was provided to the nursing homes categorized as IMDs. Standard reports for hospitals and IMDs were developed. A IDHS workgroup has analyzed the statutory basis for the FOID reporting system and has been collaborating with the IAG and the ISP on alternatives for addressing problems and ambiguity in the original statute.
  • A steering committee was established in 2008, with representation from the Divisions of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities the Office of Clinical Administrative and Program Support, and Management Information Services. Since that time an RFP has been issued for a  consultant to assist DMH, DDD, and OCAPS with writing an RFP for the Electronic Medical Records (EMR. More specifically, the consultant will work with staff in DMH, DDD, and OCAPS to identify the functional requirements required of an EMR appropriate for the IDHS state operated facilities. The contract for these services is being planned for late FY 2009. The EMR Steering Committee has also been working with the IDHS State Purchasing Officer to issue a Request for Information (RFI). The purpose of the RFI is to schedule EMR vendors to make presentations showcasing their EMR products. Plans are for the presentations to be scheduled in mid-April. To the extent that we can loop in facilities via their video conferencing we want as many staff to attend as possible.

IDHS is aware that the Department of Public Health and the Department of Corrections are also pursuing an EMR. We are using the EMR Interagency work group as the forum for collaborating across agencies on the EMR projects. IDHS is also exploring several different possibilities for federal funding to support this project including the Economic Stimulus Funding of 2009.

  • Pursuant to the Bureau of Pharmacy and Clinical Support Services (BPCSS) recruiting plan, the IDHS Director of Pharmacy was successful in securing an appointment to the Board of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville (SIU-E) School of Pharmacy in June 2007. This position has provided IDHS with the opportunity to advocate on behalf of minority applicants to the SIU-E school of pharmacy.

Since that time the school has established an operational Student National Pharmacists Association (SNPhA). The SNPhA is a minoritybased student association which encourages minorities to seek a pharmacy degree and to encourage their progress throughout their professional education.

More recently, the school established an outreach program to several local high schools to develop a relationship with the guidance counselors. It was surprising the number of counselors who had not included recommending pharmacy school to their minority students. To further support this program, the SIU-E School of Pharmacy is making a limited amount of funding available to high school students to fund student visits to various practice sites to observe pharmacists performing pharmaceutical care. IDHS's input has been to identify and draw attention to high schools with significant numbers of minority students.

BPCSS is planning to provide $4,000 to SIU-E to extend the outreach program to high schools in the East St. Louis area. These non-GRF funds were generated by the Pharmacy Director through outcome studies, presentations, and honorariums. Through these combined efforts IDHS and the SEIU School of pharmacy will be reaching a substantial number of high school students who are of Hispanic and/or African American heritage.


The Office of Contract Administration (OCA) is composed of three bureaus: Administration Bureau of Contract Compliance Bureau of Obligation Management Bureau of Policy and Review.


  • The Workgroup on Federal Funds is currently working to determine the likely impact on this initiative of the federal government's requirement that all state agencies participate in their program of web-based reporting of federal funds. Since it would be imprudent to design and implement a IDHS coding system that does not comply with federal requirements, the Workgroup is waiting to receive more specific information from the federal government about their proposed on-line database. Upon receipt of those guidelines, the Workgroup will proceed to devise a coding system that will be tested for use in both the IDHS accounting system and the federally mandated on-line reporting system.
  • The website listing all provider payments was successfully completed. Vendors and providers can now visit the IDHS website to see up-to-date payment information. Providers no longer must call or write to IDHS asking for payment information and IDHS staff no longer must spend time gathering and transmitting payment information to providers.
  • During fiscal year 2008, 74.7 percent of contracts were filed on or before the contract start date, compared to 48.5 percent during fiscal year 2007. As of December 30, 2008, three FTE were relocated from the Office of Business Services, Bureau of Facility Contracts to the Office of Contract Administration. The flow of work between the facilities and the central office has been expedited. The processing of facilities contracts has been standardized to conform to established guidelines.


The Office of Fiscal Services (OFS) functions include: the Help Desk and System maintenance for the CARS accounting system; the collections receivables for the Department; expenditure accounting processes; monitoring and reporting on Agency disbursements; establishing, reviewing and coordinating expenditure accounting policy, procedures and processes; completion of federal reporting and its related functions; General Accounting; reports from the CARS information warehouse; the contractual payroll schedule and General Revenue Fund processing dates at the Office of the Comptroller.


  • On July 1, 2008, the agency moved to a Webbased Random Moment Sampling (RMS) software package used to measure work effort for cost allocation. The previous RMS software IDHS was using was extremely out of date, would no longer be supported by the vendor beginning July 1, 2008, and could run only on PCs with older Windows operating systems. The new software is more user-friendly, more efficient - fewer steps are needed to perform the same function - and the new vendor provides better technical support. Since the software is Web-based, this software does not take up space on agency servers (it resides on the vendor's servers) and does not require IDHS' MIS staff to provide any technical support.
  • Significant progress has been made toward the completion of this initiative. Cris software has been purchased from software vendor Maximus, who will assist the agency with installation and staff training. The Cris software will replace Excel spreadsheets currently used in the completion of quarterly cost reports for Federal claiming. The new software may not significantly reduce time spent on the quarterly cost allocation process, but is expected to simplify adjustments and streamline internal reporting and analysis.


The Office of Human Relations (OHR) functions include: administration of Employee Assistance, Volunteer Services, and Employee Recognition Program(s); Employee Services; Labor Relations - responsible for contract negotiations; employee work issues and the Workplace Violence  Prevention and Response Unit; Payroll and Benefits; Recruitment and Selection - responsible for recruiting, interviewing and selecting qualified candidates to fill vacancies within IDHS; Training & Development - responsible for the centralized training needs of IDHS, tuition reimbursement and external training courses.


  • Monthly status reports on the number of bilingual employees in IDHS are in production. The goal to increase the number of bilingual staff by June 30, 2008, was exceeded. As of December 31, 2008, IDHS had 1,095 staff in bilingual positions. This represents 8 percent of the current workforce.
  • Progress continues on the database for candidates seeking employment. The project is in the CMS Charter Process and moving through the various stages at an acceptable pace. Rewards and recognition programs are on-going including the Platinum Customer Service project and the statewide Employee Appreciation events.
  • IDHS reviewed all senior-level (SPSA) job duties and prepared draft job specifications and requirements for review by CMS. It is our understanding that this initiative is on hold at CMS. A mid-level internship program has been established and is operational in IDHS.
  • The Expedited Hiring Program continues to operate effectively. A Panel Interview system has been implemented which allows program area staff to be a voting members of the interview/selection process upon request. A request to streamline the e-par process was prepared and discussed with CMS; decision is pending.


The mission of the Office of Management Information Services (MIS) is to provide timely, reliable and user friendly computer systems to enable staff to better serve the customers and providers of IDHS.


  • Due to state and agency budgetary constraints procurements of this type have been placed in an indefinite hold status. The process of evaluating, modernizing, and consolidating existing applications is being performed within MIS as part of the Framework initiative. The Framework initiative is currently working with counterpart Federal Agencies in the Planning Advance Planning Document (PAPD) process. (See also Strategic Planning improvements for additional "Framework Initiatives").
  • MIS is currently working with CMS to stand up the Adobe Lifecycle environment. This environment will be leveraged to rollout E-Form and Rich Content applications supporting administrative automation and intake.
  • Since June 1, 2008, IDHS' MIS has trained 50 staff in modern technology and development techniques. It is estimated that 80 percent of MIS staff trained are now proficient in the identified development and configuration technologies.


The State Procurement Office (SPO) supports the mission of IDHS by ensuring appropriate and efficient purchasing processes are developed and followed.


  • IDHS' SPO has ensured that agency staff received a full understanding of the State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) by creating a Business Enterprise Team made up of IDHS Program and Administrative office procurement staff. Monthly and Quarterly meetings were scheduled and held with the SPO's office. Discussions included BEP goals, creation of new objectives and creation of individual BEP Compliance Plans, which assisted with the Department's submission of its FY 2009 BEP Compliance Plan to CMS. Each BEP Team Liaison was responsible for sharing their Offices BEP information. Team members were also responsible for completing their offices compliance plan and were made more aware of BEP Vendors through the State's www.sell2.Ilinois.gov website. By accessing this  website staff could verify and utilize BEP Certified vendors for their procurements, which ultimately resulted in more awareness and an increase in BEP Vendors serving the Department.
  • IDHS' SPO has established quarterly procurement workshops for IDHS procurement staff to ensure awareness of the Procurement Business Case (PBC) system mandated by the Governor's August 27, 2004, procurement memo and implemented by CMS. These workshops also assist in bringing transparency to the Department's procurement process. Finally, the SPO has developed a IDHS solicitation library that is posted to the SPO's IDHS OneNet. This library provides examples of various types of procurement solicitations and is accessible to IDHS procurement staff. The library is updated as needed to ensure staff has procurement assistance available to them at all times.