May 7, 2009 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Meeting Report

Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

UCP of Greater Chicago - Infinitec Southwest

7550 W. 183rd Street - Tinley Park, Illinois



  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services 
  • Julie Doetsch for Deborah Saunders, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services 
  • Janet Gully, DHS, Bureau of Early Intervention 
  • Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education 
  • Beatrice, Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start 
  • Mary Peterson, DFPR, Division of Insurance 
  • Karrie Potter, parent, Neoga 
  • Deanna Pratcher, parent, Thonton 
  • Dorelia Rivera-Martinez, Melrose Park 
  • David Rubovits, PhD, Jewish Child and Family Services 
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley
  • Joyce Smith, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House
  • Robin York for Andria Goss, IL Department of Children and Family Services 
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College


  • Diane Blythe, parent, Crystal Lake
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children
  • Sheena Coleman, parent, Naperville
  • Representative Julie Hamos
  • Sandy Ryan, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Linda Saterfield, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Myrtis Sullivan, DHS, Division of Community Health and Prevention
  • Gail Tanner, IL Department of Public Health

Contents of Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Lead Agency Report - May 14, 2009
  • Draft Report from January 8, 2009
  • Final Annual Performance Report
  • PA95-1049 (Senate Bill 101)

1) Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention convened at 10:14 a.m.

2) Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves. The draft report from the January 8 meeting was reviewed. Bob Cammarata noted an addition to the Service Delay Work Group section of the report. The Service Delay Work Group requested that a representative from each professional association join the work group. He thanked Bea Nichols for her efforts to allow that to occur. The January 8 meeting notes were approved.

3) Coordinating Care Between Early Intervention and Primary Care Medical Home Practices

Jon Ashworth and Kathy Sanabria provided information about collaborative efforts of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advocate Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, and Child and Family Connections (CFC) Offices to coordinate care between Early Intervention and primary care medical home practices. Ms. Sanabria provided an overview of the Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC) Program and the Illinois Medical Home Project (IMHP). Activities, goals, training, and the projects' relationship to Early Intervention were explained. A definition of a medical home and the IMHP methodology were presented.

New efforts funded through a grant from The Commonwealth Fund were described. These pilots have included 4 Child and Family Connections (CFC) offices and 8 primary care medical homes in Waukegan, Cook County southern suburban, Peoria, and Decatur. The goals of the project and the role of the CFC and Primary Care Medical Home pilot sites were discussed. Mr. Ashworth reviewed information from two surveys, an Illinois CFC survey and a national Part C coordinators survey. In response to a question, the motivation of primary care physicians to participate in coordination efforts was explained, including the physician's desire to see families connected to needed services and the benefits of good communication between primary care physicians and Early Intervention and other specialists.

4) Credentialing Update

Rob Derry provided an update of Provider Connections, including the following activities: technical assistance phone calls, processing of credential and Central Billing Office enrollment applications, and website additions. Podcast technology, RSS feed, and frequently asked questions features are important additions to the web site. As the use of the website has increased, the number of technical assistance calls has decreased. Fewer applications are being returned for corrections.

Other activities include an enhanced credential search function, a semi-annual newsletter, and the integration of databases to allow providers to check their enrollment information, along with credential status. Provider Connections has been involved with the process to implement new interpreter/ translator requirements and is working with the EI Central Billing Office to expedite enrollment via electronic data sharing. Future projects include the redesign of databases to accommodate new features. Mr. Derry announced that the time required by the Department of Children and Family Services to process CANTS checks has dramatically dropped from 6 to 8 weeks to 10 to 15 days.

In response to a question, Mr. Derry explained that the number of credentials has remained pretty consistent, with 20 - 30 new credentialed providers joining the program per month. The process to inactivate credentials of individuals who have not billed EI for over 12 months was described along with the information on how reactivate the credential, based upon the time the individual remains out of the system.

5) Work Group Report

  • Finance Work Group Report

Kathy Schrock provided an update on the Finance Work Group, which has met four times since the last council meeting. The group has broad-based representation. An update of the status of payment of vouchers was provided. The group has been discussing the use of stimulus dollars, including enhanced Medicaid match and Part C funds. The Program Integrity Project will focus on making sure that Early Intervention principles are being followed. The system has been looking at what might be done differently to avoid a shortfall down the road. Janet explained that the program has been advocating to make stimulus funds available to spend, but that tracking processes must be in place first.

Legislation is another area that the group discusses. Senate Bill 101 has been signed by the Governor and will help families receive insurance payment for habilitative services. The bill becomes affective on as policies renew on or after 1/1/2010. Self-insured policies, which cover about half of the families in the state, are not impacted by this requirement. Several question regarding coverage remain, including the applicability to children with developmental delays. No suggestions were offered for further legislative action.

The final area of the group's discussion involves the Early Intervention Central Billing Office Insurance unit. Information was shared about the increase in the use of this service. The Finance Work Group recommended that the Early Intervention Task Force (HJR 50) include a member from this work group.

  • Service Delay Work Group Report

Bob Cammarata reported that the Service Delay Work Group had met three times since the last council meeting. The group had followed-through with the suggestion to include representation form the professional associations. Representatives from the following groups participated in the last meeting, IL Developmental Therapy Association, IL Occupational Therapy Association, IL Physical Therapy Association, and IL Speech and Hearing Association. The work group is exploring changes in training, policies and procedures to encourage teaming. The next meeting date is May 28.

6) Lead Agency Report

Janet Gully mentioned a few items from the lead agency report.

  • A copy of the Annual Performance Report as it was submitted to the Office of Special Education Programs was provided to Council members.
  • The Request for Proposal for Early Intervention training, credentialing, monitoring and clearinghouse were released, with proposals due May 15.
  • The Part C grant application is due May 16, and has already been submitted. It had been posted on line and made available at CFC offices for comment, with notice in the state newspaper and through EI newsletters and listserves.
  • HJR 50 creates the Early Intervention task force to partner with the Department to look at the EI system and develop recommendations and an action plan to address issues related to workforce, financing, monitoring and evaluation, service delivery, and transitions. The creation of the task force is subject to appropriations for this purpose. Several program integrity strategies (i.e., CFC pilot, system ombudsman, evaluation team pilots) were briefly presented. These may have to be place on hold if the EI task force is created.

Council members asked questions and expressed concerns about the creation of the task force.

  • The question of why a task force would be created as a separate body from the council was raised, stating that the task force would duplicate what is already going on. The suggestion was to expand the council and invite others to the table.
  • Background information on HB2662/HJR 50 was provided and the task force timeline was shared. Concerns were discussed, including funding of the task force and its recommendations, staff resources, potential delays to other projects, etc. Positive aspects of task forces were shared.
  • The role of council members was clarified and ways to make the council more transparent and open were discussed. A suggestion was made to bring CFC input to the council on a rotating basis. Janet Gully suggested that input from the CFCs and one of the professional associations could be included in the agenda for the July meeting.
  • Rachel Wood, CFC 6 program manager, and Cathy Rodriques, pediatric technical assistance coordinator provided an overview of the Program Integrity pilot at CFC 6, which is in the very beginning stages. The philosophy behind the project, materials that have been gathered, questions that have been raised and some initial observations were described. The project is looking at data and other information resources to develop an ongoing plan of technical assistance and training to bring practice in line with policy and procedure. What other states are doing is being identified. Connecticut's Natural Environments Intervention guidance for service providers and families was suggested as a helpful resource. Initial pilot work group members include bureau, monitoring, CFC, pediatric technical assistance and training staff. A suggestion was made to include providers in this work.
  • Chelsea Guillen described work that the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) center, the developers of the original family outcomes survey, to revise the survey so that concerns that have been raised about the instrument can be addressed. Council members were given a copy of a "Concept Nomination Form." Input has been sought from CFCs, including parent liaisons and parents enrolled in the program. Provider Connections and the Clearinghouse website will post the form for input from parents and providers.

7) Adjournment

Beatrice, Nichols presented two recommendations that were approved by the Council

  • Open the July meeting to invite an association member and CFC manager(s) for a certain part of the agenda.
  • Consideration should be given to the configuration of the Early Intervention Task Force and how it will interact with the council.

The meeting adjourned at 12:57 p.m.