October 2, 2008 Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Meeting Report

Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention

Thursday, October 2, 2008
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
UCP of Greater Chicago - Tinley Park, IL


Note: X = IICEI Members 

  • Diane Blythe, parent, Crystal Lake X
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children X
  • Sheena Coleman, parent, Naperville X
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services X
  • Janet Gully, DHS, Bureau of Early Intervention X
  • Representative Julie Hamos 
  • Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education 
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start X
  • Mary Peterson, DFPR, Division of Insurance 
  • Karrie Potter, parent, Neoga X
  • Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thonton X
  • Dorelia Rivera-Martinez, Melrose Park 
  • David Rubovits, PhD, Jewish Child and Family Services 
  • Sandy Ryan, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities 
  • Linda Saterfield, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development 
  • Deborah Saunders, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services X
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley X
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities 
  • Joyce Smith, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House 
  • Myrtis Sullivan, DHS, Division of Community Health and Prevention 
  • Gail Tanner, AuD, IL Department of Public Health 
  • Therese Wehman, PhD, Elmhurst College X
  • Constance Williams, PhD, DHS, Division of Mental Health 
  • Robin York for Andria Goss, IL Department of Children & Family Services X

Contents of Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Lead Agency Report - October 2, 2008
  • Local Interagency Council Summary Report
  • Draft Council Report for April 10, 2008
  • Finance Work Group report
  • Service Delay Work Group report
  • Provider Connections Newsletter
  • EI Training Program Newsletter
  • Draft 2009 Council Meeting Dates

I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 10:02 a.m.

II. Introductions of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves.

III. Review/Approval of July 24, 2008 Meeting Report

The July 24, 2008 meeting notes were approved as written.

IV. Lead Agency Report

Janet Gully reported the program's caseload growth and its impact on the program's financial situation. How the Early Intervention revolving fund is set up and delays in General Revenue funds deposits impact on payments were explained. Early Intervention is making every effort to make sure that payments to providers, CFC offices and administrative contracts are made in a timely way, but future delays may occur.

State agencies are experiencing travel restrictions, limiting travel to meetings directly related to federal funding. Travel will continue to be an issue. It is difficult to accommodate audience attendance at council meetings when conference calls and satellite conferencing are used. Ms. Gully asked for suggestions on how to improve council member attendance.

The council had suggested that a two-day council retreat be scheduled as follow-up to the May council retreat. DHS approval for a two-day meeting was not given, and a request for approval for a one-day retreat is pending. Council member suggestions included:

  • Using a DHS staff person to facilitate the meeting and
  • Distributing vision and mission statements for review and comment via e-mail and then compiling the feedback. The next council meeting could be extended through the afternoon to finish this work.

Nyle Robinson described how CFC offices and EI providers are paid in the system. He reviewed steps that the Department takes to ensure adequate funds are available for timely payments. Mr. Robinson explained reasons for a potential shortfall for this fiscal year including an increasing caseload and a fund sweep of $1.0 million. Some current efforts, including savings realized as a result of the work of the EI CBO insurance unit and implementation of recommendations from the Finance Work Group, will help to offset the shortfall. Mr. Robinson described the timeline for receiving Medicaid matching funds. Deborah Saunders explained how the federal match works. Concerns about future funding were expressed and Council members expressed their appreciation for the openness and frankness of the discussion.

Dr. Wehman suggested that the discussion of financial concerns be opened to constituents (i.e., EI providers, CFCs) to get investment in the solutions. Janet Gully welcomes input from anyone who may have a solution. Although always on the table, changing eligibility requirements is not being considered at this time. Lora McCurdy, from the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, thanked the Bureau for its work to prevent cuts to direct services. She explained cuts that have been made to the adult system of care. Bea Nichols suggested that Illinois looks at what other states are doing to address financial concerns.

Eileen DeRoze provided an update on the request for proposal (RFP) process for Department contracts for services beginning in FY2010 (July 1, 2009). The RFP process may begin early next calendar year for the CFC office contracts. The Bureau is moving ahead with four administrative contract RFPs, including Early Intervention monitor, training program, clearinghouse, and credentialing office services. Dependent on the length of the approval process, these four RFPs may be posted around the first of November, with a month provided for submission of the proposals. Council members were asked to consider participating on RFP review teams that will review the proposals individually and then meet by phone to compile results. Interested members were asked to read and sign a Compliance, Conflict of Interest, and Confidentiality Statement form.

V. EI Training Program

Ted Burke provided an update on the Early Intervention Training Program. He reviewed program data including the number of workshops held (239) in fiscal year 2008 and the number of participant in attendance (8,753). He reported that more training is being provided on-line, with more than 100 contact hours available. He reviewed the training that has been provided by region and workshop category and discussed workshops that have been approved for EI credit. Needs assessment data are used for a local approach to training needs. Child outcome training has received national recognition and is considered a model for other states. Recent efforts regarding interpreter testing and training were described. A lead article from a recent EI Training Program provider newsletter regarding the benefits of the ongoing professional development requirement was shared.

VI. Child/Family Outcomes

Chelsea Guillen provided a 'Guidance for Understanding the Child Outcomes Indicators Tool" and a copy of the Family Outcomes Survey. She described current training and supports provided to CFC staff and EI providers regarding the measurement of child and family outcomes. Both processed were described. Three rounds of the family outcomes surveys have been completed. Presentations/poster sessions at national conferences were described. CFC managers were recently surveyed concerning their use of the data. An article in the EI Clearinghouse family newsletter provided a summary of results. A copy of the newsletter will be provided to council members.

Family outcome survey results are positive with community involvement and childcare identified as challenges for families. Council members shared comments and questions about the survey, and the survey tool was described. Nyle Robinson suggested strategies for feedback to the survey process including the use of a Webinar. Results are included in the state's APR, which is distributed to the Governor's office and the General Assembly.

VII. Monitoring Program

Alecia Caver, Program Coordinator for the EI Monitoring Program, provided an update of its work. The EI Monitoring Program has offices in Homewood and Springfield. To date, the CFC offices have been monitored four times and EI Providers have been monitored twice. Examples of improvements in compliance, as evidenced through the monitoring process for both CFC offices and EI providers, were given. How EI providers are selected for monitoring was described.

VIII.  Work Group Reports

Finance Work Group 

Kathy Schrock

The Finance Work Group has discussed insurance and exploring legislation. Troy Alim from the EI Central Billing Office (CBO) provided an update regarding training and utilization of the CBO for insurance billing. The number of providers enrolled to use this service and the number of children that the CBO is billing insurance for are increasing. The next phase is more marketing of the service. Problems with complete data on insurance payments for EI services were discussed. Ways to monitor compliance with reporting insurance payments were considered. Ms. Schrock shared her discussions with Mary Peterson about the need for more information about the limits on insurance and its impact statewide. She suggested that Lora McCurdy join the Finance Work Group. The Bureau is working on the family fee collections process to make sure the system is collecting what it needs to.

Janet Gully suggested that the Finance Work Group take a look at insurance, rather than developing a new sub group. Staffing of an additional group was sited as a concern. One suggestion was to survey providers to collect information about difficulties with insurance. It was suggested that the EI Training Program's web site could be used to post such a survey and compile results. Sheena Coleman suggested that parents be educated on how to appeal denials from insurance companies. It was suggested that the group look at mandates in other states for insurance coverage of EI services.

The council agreed to maintain the Finance Work Group, have it address the insurance issue, and add Lora McCurdy and Mary Peterson to its membership. Mary Peterson will join the group's phone conferences as her schedule allows.

Service Delay Work Group 

Bob Cammarata

The Service Delay Work Group has met three times since the last council meeting. A subgroup met in September to consider a detailed plan for presentation to the council. This group recommends the scheduling of an interactive forum, presented through the EI Training Program, for a small group of stakeholders (i.e., CFC offices, provider community, and professional associations) in the Rockford/ Freeport area to look at different service delivery models. The council agreed that the group could proceed in that direction. Other topics include:

  • Clarification was given by Bureau staff regarding "no show" policies. Information should be given to EI providers and CFC program managers to inform them that the policy must be developed by the provider and applied to all children it serves, with a 30-day notice given to a family if the provider is going to end EI services.
  • Provider Connections has developed a newsletter with updates on changes to the rule and their application to credentialing and answers to commonly asked questions.
  • Incentives for new providers (loan forgiveness programs) were discussed.
  • Contacts have been made with the state professional associations for speech and occupation therapists (with physical therapists association pending) to discuss strategies to recruit and retain providers in EI.

Transition Work Group 

Deanna Pratscher

The Transition Work Group has recognized the progress made by an active statewide transition committee. One area of interest is children who fail to transition prior to the third birthday for family reasons. The group recommends information regarding these families be collected by service coordinators during the final quarter of this calendar year to track family reasons and identify those that could be addressed. Colleen Cunningham described the tracking tool, which can be entered electronically and automatically tallied or printed and completed by hand and then entered into the spreadsheet. Data collection will be done by all service coordinators. The council recommended to proceed with the tracking tool.

IX. New Business

Deborah Saunders described IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services' efforts to establish a primary care delivery system. It has provided training and technical assistance to primary care providers regarding developmental screening. These efforts may result in more referrals to EI. The next challenge is to strengthen the link between primary care and EI.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.