Happy Juneteenth Week and Pride Month!

25th Anniversary of the Olmstead Supreme Court Decision

June 22, 2024 is the 25th Anniversary of the Olmstead U.S. Supreme Court decision, which stated that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities, who have a right to live and receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate.  This decision has enabled many thousands of people with disabilities to live in their homes and communities, and to have greater independence, autonomy, and opportunities to participate fully in their communities.

DDD continues our commitment to support people to attain their wants, needs, and dreams in the places of their choosing. This is reflected in the more than $500 million that has been invested thus far in the implementation of the Guidehouse Rates Study, the selection of more than 13,000 individuals from PUNs to access waiver services, the expansion of ADA/Olmstead outreach and education about the options for services and supports annually, and the expansion of funding and supports for individuals with higher support needs. We are excited to continue to partner with stakeholders to expand and grow the community systems to reflect those wants, needs, and dreams of the individuals with whom DDD works.

Learn More about the Updates to Rules 115 and 120

The Division is providing recorded webinars on recently updated Rules 115 and 120.  Each recording and the related PDFs outline the changes made to the updated Rules.

In addition, the Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure and Certification (BALC), the Bureau of Quality Management (BQM) and the Strategic Planning Unit will hold joint Office Hours to address questions from stakeholders. We will announce the dates and times in the near future.

Guidehouse Rates Implementation Update

In anticipation of the implementation of the Guidehouse rate calculator in FY25, DDD will be sending out a series of communications over the next few weeks to ensure stakeholders are aware of the process and can understand and anticipate timeframes and deadlines for changes.  As you know, in FY25, the new Guidehouse rate calculator will be implemented including the Scenario 4 agreement to ensure the retention of the total amount of DSP hours in the system.  In addition to weekly updates, DDD is committed to supporting providers in this new process and anticipates offering resources in FY25 to address questions regarding the rate sheet and rate methodology.

Below are a few items of note to share:

  • All updated ICAP scores that were due June 15, 2024 have been received from the ISCs.  ICAP data will be submitted regularly to DDD by the ISCs the last week of June and December. Thanks to ISCs and providers for working together to get these updates to DDD!
  • HRST/HCL scores are received the last week of June and December from IntellectAbility.
  • The CILA rates will be updated with changes that will take effect 7/1/2024. Updated rates will be entered into the billing system in time for July/January billing in the first week of August/February respectively.
  • The Rates team will be spending the next two months testing and vetting the process to ensure accuracy of information so that providers will receive correct billing information. After July 1, DDD will be able to offer a clearer timeframe on receiving rate sheets for all individuals.

If you have additional questions as we approach FY25 or once the new rate calculator is in place, you can reach out to Mike Vespa at Michael.Vespa@Illinois.gov as the point on this project.

Appeals Staffing Update

The appeal process has not changed; however, DDD is very excited to announce that as of June 16, Ashley Kjos is the new manager of the Program Development Unit which oversees clinical, one-time funding denial and discharge appeals for DDD. Effective 6/17/24 questions about the status of an appeal that was formerly addressed to Kathy Ward or Michael Vespa can be addressed with Ashley at Ashley.Kjos@Illinois.gov.

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Updates and Townhall Meetings

HFS released two Provider Notices relative to EVV:

Homebased Community Updates: Important CANTs Changes

Effective August 1, 2024, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will update its submission procedure for submitting Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) forms. From that date forward, ACES$ can no longer submit the Authorization for Background Child Check, CANTS forms on behalf of Personal Support Workers (PSWs). If you need assistance, the Illinois DCFS has provided resources for you. Please refer to the resources section below.

As a PSW, what impact will this change have on me? ACES$ will now input PSWs’ names, dates of birth, and email addresses directly into the DCFS portal. PSWs will then receive an email from DCFS requesting their participation. Workers will need to log in, complete the registration process, and grant ACES$ permission to access CANTS results.

Important Facts:

  • The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities, mandates that PSWs in the Home-Based Services Waiver program must undergo CANTS background checks as a requirement prior to employment and annually thereafter.
  • A delay in CANTS background checks will result in a pay gap for Personal Support Workers.

Take Action:

  • To ensure ACES$ has your current email address for entry into the DCFS portal, please register for an ACES$ Online account at login.mycil.org.
  • If you don’t have an email account, here are a few providers offering free email accounts: Gmail by Google, Outlook.com by Microsoft, Yahoo Mail by Yahoo, and AOL Mail by AOL.
  • To assist PSWs with this new process, ACES$ will send all reminder notifications via email to PSWs when their CANTS backgrounds are due. Additionally, with your ACES$ Online account, you can monitor your CANTS expiration date.

Resources:

When it’s your time and if you require assistance accessing or completing your background check, please contact the DCFS State Central Register Production Control Unit by email DCFS.ProductionControlUnit@illinois.gov or by phone at 217-557-0758.

Need technical assistance for the DCFS portal, please contact Support by email or by phone at 1-800-610-2089.

Updates from OIG: Notifying Victims or Guardians of Victims of New OIG Allegations

In recent months, it has come to OIG‘s attention that victims or guardians of victims are not regularly receiving notification of new allegations. 59 Illinois Administrative Code 50.20 Reporting an Allegation of Abuse, Neglect, or Financial Exploitation and Death Reports states the authorized representative of a community agency or facility shall notify the victim or guardian (if applicable) and the accused employee that an allegation has been received within 24 hours after receiving notification of an allegation from the Office of the Inspector General. If the Authorized Representative or designee is unable to reach the guardian by phone, a letter of notification shall be sent within 24 hours. Because OIG realizes your agency may not know the victim’s name if the call was made to OIG anonymously or by someone outside of your agency, as soon as you are aware of the victim’s name, the victim or guardian should be notified within 24 hours.

This notification is very important, so guardians are aware of new allegations from the onset. Please ensure your staff are making this important and required contact.  Thank you for all the important work you do to serve persons with developmental disabilities.

Training, Education, and Resources

Reminder: Health Care Worker Registry (HCWR)/Portal Registration Authority (PRA) – – Expectations

Every provider is required to have a PRA identified. The PRA is the main contact between your agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). This person is responsible for giving additional HCWR access to other users or for removing users no longer employed by the provider. Due to the importance of the PRA role, it is the expectation that every provider has an additional staff member with HCWR access at all times. This will ensure your agency is not negatively impacted by a change in the PRA.

Currently, IDPH reports that it takes 3-4 months to establish a PRA for a new staff member. If a PRA leaves employment and an additional user already has HCWR access, that staff member can easily be switched to the PRA role without a long waiting period.  Otherwise, without the additional user, the provider will not be able to conduct the required background checks in a timely fashion. For additional information, please see FAQ’savailable on IDPH website.

Sex Education Refresher

Just a reminder that every provider should be providing Sex Education to all individual’s supported in a CILA, CDS or SODC. There are several approved curriculums for you to review and identify which one will work best for your individuals. You can find the approved curriculums on our website. There are several resources listed on the website as well, but those resources do not qualify as a curriculum. The resources are available to supplement your approved curriculums.  If you do not choose one of the approved curriculum’s, you must contact Kristin Semanik (Kristin.semanik@illinois.gov) to get your curriculum approved. When you request approval, please send the entire curriculum as well as justification for why this proposed curriculum fits your needs more than one of the established approved curriculums. Please understand that BQM does NOT approve curriculums, we will send the curriculum to the Curriculum Committee within the Sex Ed Workgroup for approval.

FY 25 Training Calendar 

We have begun updating the FY 25 training calendar on the website. Please monitor for all upcoming training opportunities.

Updated Accessible Version of the Rights of People in Waiver Services

The Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance (The Alliance) is pleased to share with you their newest resource: Accessible Version of Rights of Individuals in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Developmental Disability Waivers. This resource was developed with input from self-advocates in Illinois. It is meant to complement the Rights of Individuals Form given to Medicaid Waiver Participants and their guardians at the time of enrollment in the Waiver and annually thereafter.

Through the use of pictures, the Accessible Version of Rights of Individuals in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Developmental Disabilities Waivers resource is designed to support greater understanding and advocacy of the rights of individuals receiving services in the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Developmental Disability Waivers programs.

Check out It’s My Right Accessible Version in English and Spanish.