QUICK NOTES 

  • The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has the following reminders for provider agencies:
  • Please ensure your agency has Entrust software for purposes of encryption and the sharing of documentation via encryption between DDD and your agency.
  • Please ensure your agency’s contact information is up to date with DDD and with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) via IMPACT to ensure your organization is receiving all necessary communications. For DDD, please email DHS.DDDComments@illinois.gov with your updated contact information. For IMPACT, please make updates in the IMPACT system as well as send an email to DHS.DDDMedProv@illinois.gov.

DDD STAFF UPDATE 

DDD wanted to share that Tiffany Bailey has announced her retirement from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), effective November 30, 2023. It is difficult to sum up her achievements over the past 29 years. From her start in direct care at Mabley to her current role as Deputy Director—a post she’s held for the last 7 years—her care for DDD residents and staff has made her indispensable. Tiffany led the State Operated Developmental Centers through the COVID-19 pandemic and has helped chart a path toward system transformation over the past 9 months. DDD has grown and become stronger thanks to Tiffany’s commitment to DDD’s mission, values, and vision, and she has touched many lives in the process. DDD thanks Tiffany for her many years of service and wishes her the very best in retirement.

EXTENSION ON DSP HOURS PAUSE  

As DDD continues to discuss the implementation plan for the Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) Rate Calculator with the Ligas Rates Oversight Committee, DDD will be extending the implementation pause on the full CILA Rate Calculator through March 31, 2024. The pause extension will have no impact on the implementation of the January 1, 2024, rate changes. As a reminder, subject to Waiver Amendment and State Plan Amendment approvals by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), effective January 1, 2024, DDD will provide funding sufficient to increase the Direct Support Professional (DSP) hourly wages for waiver funded programs and ICF providers by $2.50/hour and to implement the fifteen (15) percent regionalization factor for day programming. Please review the November 6, 2023, DDD Communication for additional information on the day programming rates as well as the January 1, 2024, Proposed DDD Rate Table. DDD will also provide further guidance on the implementation of the rate changes ahead of the January 1, 2024, effective date.

EVV UPDATES AND REMINDERS  

Please see below for a host of updates related to the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). If there are questions about any of the information provided below, please email DHS.DDDEVV@illinois.gov.

  • The Live-In Caregiver Exemption Information Bulletin has been revised effective November 20, 2023. The revisions are specific to the approved supportive documentation list where DDD has removed some documentation items that are not useful and added new documentation that will allow individuals to meet the requirements for the exemption. DDD is in the process of updating the Exemption Form to reflect these documentation updates and will release the updated Exemption Form when it is final. In the immediate, please continue to use the existing Exemption Form as needed.
  • As a reminder, in October, HFS announced the implementation of phase two (2) of the EVV rollout which is to include Home Healthcare Services. While DDD is communicating directly with impacted providers, this is a general reminder to those providers to complete the EVV enrollment process as soon as possible. Additionally, please be aware that HFS may also reach out regarding enrollment requirements.
  • DDD will soon publish the EVV compliance plan which will include individually hired Personal Support Workers (PSWs) as well as PSW agencies that are and are not complying with the requirements of EVV. All individually hired PSWs and PSW agencies are required to comply with all EVV requirements or have been approved for the live-in caregiver exemption. DDD is aware that some PSW agencies are working towards compliance. For those agencies, please work and communicate with DDD regarding compliance.

RULE 115 UPDATE ON PROXIMITY REQUIREMENT AND WAIVER PROCESS

As stakeholders are aware, Rule 115 (59 Ill. Adm. Code 115), the CILA rule, went into effect May 31, 2023. In the final rule, there are changes to the limits placed on provider-controlled sites that are clustered or within a specific proximity of each other. Specifically, the updated Rule 115 states:

“Any new provider-owned or controlled CILA site for individuals in the DDD Medicaid HCBS Waiver must comply with the federal settings rules’ requirements and shall only be eligible for funding from the Department if: 

  1. Subject to the proximity waiver process in subsection (j), it is not adjacent to (next to, across, or diagonal from or immediately behind) any Medicaid HCBS waiver-funded residential or day program site or property owned or controlled by the same CILA provider; 
  1. It is not located in a building that is also a publicly or privately-operated facility that provides inpatient institutional treatment; 
  1. It is not located in a building on the grounds of, or adjacent to, a publicly or privately-operated facility that provides inpatient institutional treatment; or 
  1. It is not any of the settings defined in 42 CFR 441.301(c)(5).”   

For proposed new provider-controlled sites, prior to building, acquiring or providing services at sites that do not comply with the proximity requirement in the updated Rule 115 language, a provider must request a proximity waiver application form from DDD via DHS.HCBS@illinois.gov. The new proximity waiver request form will be sent to a provider and will ask the provider to lay out how the sites will comply with best practices around the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule requirements. In addition, the proximity waiver application and process require that any new site applying for the proximity waiver must be physically accessible and, if residential, must be a CILA for three (3) people with single occupancy bedrooms.

For current provider-controlled sites that previously received annual proximity waivers through the Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure, and Certification (BALC), they should have received a permanent proximity waiver that was sent by BALC prior to the finalization of Rule 115. Providers should retain that letter for their records, and no further proximity waivers are needed for those sites.

As a reminder, the proximity limits and waiver process, only apply to provider-controlled sites. Rule 115 does not limit individuals as to where they can live in individually controlled homes. For more information or questions, please email DHS.HCBS@illinois.gov.

IDHS STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEY  

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is working with the Civic Consulting Alliance and Accenture on a strategic planning process. As part of this work, Accenture has released a survey for individuals to complete regarding how to better support Illinois residents and communities.

For those interested in participating, please fill out the below questionnaire. Illinois residents who qualify and complete the full study receive a $50 reward. Responses will be treated confidentially and will only be shared with a small team of researchers. Participation in this research will not affect an individual’s ability to receive benefits.

Fill out the survey here. Complete la encuesta aquí.

The information contained herein should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official statutes, rules, regulations, or the advice of legal counsel. 

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