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August 7, 2020




Table of Contents:
  • Gov. Pritzker Announces New Proposed Rules on Mask Wearing, Provide Additional Protections for Frontline Workers
  • Senator Duckworth Requests Priority for HCBS – Flexibility on Retainer Payments
  • Deadline Extension for Federal Provider Relief Fund Payment Update for Medicaid and CHIP Providers
  • DHS-DMH Reminds Hospitals and LTC of Front Door Diversion Program
  • Meridian Health Announces Student Samsung Chromebook Grant Program
  • IARF BH COVID Billing Relief Extension & Telehealth Utilization Survey
  • IDHS-DDD Announces New Employment Support
  • The Alliance Releases New CDS Resource
  • NAMI Chicago Conducting Needs Assessment Survey
  • Vote Yes For Fair Tax Organizational Sign-On
  • SAMHSA/NatCon Webinar August 11
  • IlliniCare Officially Becoming Aetna Better Health October 1
  • DMH Announces Additional Sessions for 2020 Virtual Conference
  • IDHS Launches Three New Mental Health Programs
  • Re-Opening Under the COVID-19 Presumption Webinar Recording Now Available
  • HRS Webinar: The Fatal Five + Covid-19 – How to identify and prevent
  • Are You Interested in Serving as an Integrated Health Home?

GOV. PRITZKER ANNOUNCES NEW PROPOSED RULES ON MASK WEARING, PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR FRONT LINE WORKERS
Building on efforts to protect Illinois’ workers and communities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will file emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings. The governor also signed SB471 to help protect workers who continue to serve on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. More information can be found at the Governor’s Website HERE. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

SENATOR DUCKWORTH REQUESTS PRIORITY FOR HCBS – FLEXIBILITY ON RETAINER PAYMENTS
IARF was informed by ANCOR that Senator Duckworth joined 29 colleagues in the Senate in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell requesting Sections 30101 and 30103 of the House passed HEROES Act be included as part of the final COVID-19 relief package.  Section 30103 of the HEROES Act includes a targeted FMAP bump for HCBS services and supports.
 
In addition – in her continued leadership on disability priorities – Senator Duckworth also joined 17 of her colleagues in communicating to CMS Administrator Seema Verma the need to extend retainer payments to HCBS service providers through the public health emergency as a result of the pandemic.  Members will recall our recommendations to DHS-DDD Director Stark on July 21st included a request for an extension of retainer payments to accommodate the impact of the pandemic on individuals, families, and CDS provider organizations.
 
In addition, tonight – between 5:30 and 6:30 pm, Senator Casey (D-PA) and Duckworth will lead presentations on the floor of the U.S. Senate tonight to talk about the importance of disability services and supports in the COVID-19 package.  Members interested in viewing the speeches can take this link to view live floor proceedings during the 1 hour window. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR FEDERAL PROVIDER RELIEF FUND PAYMENT UPDATE FOR MEDICAID AND CHIP PROVIDERS
Medicaid and CHIP providers now have until Friday, August 28 to submit applications to the federal Provider Relief Fund. Medicaid and CHIP providers may receive approximately 2% of reported gross revenue from patient care. This is an opportunity for providers to receive funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
 
Additional information and details on this application opportunity is included in the July 23, 2020 HFS provider notice and HHS has posted resources on their website as well.
 
Medicare Distribution – Second Chance
Some Medicaid providers may have received small amounts of funding from the Medicare General Distribution, which disqualified them from applying for funding under the Medicaid and CHIP distribution. Starting the week of August 10, providers who received payment through the Medicare general distribution, but whose payment was less than 2% of annual patient revenues, will have a second chance to apply for the balance of 2% of annual patient revenues.
 
Payments for Providers Who Had a Change in Ownership
Some providers were eligible for the Medicare general distribution but did not receive Provider Relief Fund payments from HHS because the 2019 payment data was used. To maintain program integrity, prior owners cannot transfer funds to the new owners and instead must return any funds received inappropriately to HHS. Beginning the week of August 10, the new owners may submit revenue information, along with documentation proving a change in ownership by August 28th for consideration for Provider Relief Fund payment.
 
Addition Information and Provider Questions
For additional information and data on the Provider Relief Fund visit hhs.gov/providerrelief, review the Provider Relief Fund fact sheet, or call the federal provider support line at 866-569-3522; for TTY dial 711. Hours of operation are 7a.m. to 10p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Service staff members are available to provide real-time technical assistance, as well as service and payment support. (Contact: Dan Frey)

DHS-DMH REMINDS HOSPITALS AND LTC OF FRONT DOOR DIVERSION PROGRAM
Earlier this week HFS sent a reminder through its notification network of the FDDP program funded by DHS-DMH as part of the Williams consent decree.  The announcement discusses eligibility and how to access FDDP services
 
The FDDP is a DHS grant-funded program, the goal of which is to ensure every individual determined able to live in a community-based setting be offered community-based services and supports in order to prevent unnecessary admissions to Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs). The FDDP provides services and supports to individuals who would otherwise likely be admitted to SMHRFs, such as:

  • Temporary and Permanent Supportive Housing;
  • Community Outreach and Engagement;
  • Linkage to Community Treatment; and
  • Non-Traditional Support Services (such as emergency medications, food, clothing, cell phones, and transportation).

FDDP services are delivered through one of six community providers: Thresholds, Trilogy, Envision Unlimited, National Youth Advocate Program, HRDI, and Kenneth Young Center.
 
DHS requires that an individual be enrolled in Medicaid and have a current Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) with a Level 2 Determination and Disposition of “Eligible for Nursing Facility – Diverted to Community Option.” Once a Front Door agency receives a referral from the PASRR screener, the Front Door agency assesses the individual’s needs. If the agency determines it can serve the individual with the needed resources in the community, the individual is offered to be diverted from a facility to community placement. (Contact: Dan Frey)

MERIDIAN HEALTH ANNOUNCES STUDENT SAMSUNG CHROMEBOOK GRANT PROGRAM
Meridian Health has announced a new grant opportunity for organizations that serve Illinois’ low-income families and children.  As the new school year approaches and COVID-19 is still a reality throughout Illinois, most schools will open with part-time or full-time remote e-learning. 

In response, Meridian Health will be donating approximately 1200 Samsung Chromebooks to support e-learning needs for school age children.  Providers and community partners that serve low-income children and families are eligible to apply for the devices on behalf of the children and/or families they serve. Receipt of devices is not limited to Meridian Health members.  The Chromebooks will be available to organizations across the state of Illinois and will be distributed equitably to all regions of the state.

Providers and community-based organizations are asked to complete this “Student E-Learning Device” grant application. The application includes items such as Provider/Requestor contact information, number of devices requested, demonstration of need, and student selection and distribution process.   Applications must be received by August 14th and grantees will be notified by August 28th.   Questions and completed applications can be submitted to CommunityGrants@mhplan.com (Contact: Dan Frey)

IARF BH COVID BILLING RELIEF EXTENSION & TELEHEALTH UTILIZATION SURVEY
IARF is attempting to ascertain the level of decline in billing for the codes that received COVID relief dollars from the MCOs for March 8 - June 30.  Answers are being sought to questions as they relate to the codes that received the COVID relief rate increase.  This will allow IARF to present an accurate accounting of our members' losses during the pandemic, and advocate more effectively for an extension of this rate increase.
 
Additionally, the state is encouraging providers to conduct a migration of services to telehealth for the remainder of the public health crisis, and legislation is in development to make these changes permanent.  It is believed that an increase in telehealth utilization will correspond with more stable claims and billing.  You view and complete the survey by clicking here. (Contact: Dan Frey)

IDHS-DDD ANNOUNCES NEW EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT
The Division announced this week that Casey Burke joined the Division in a part-time contractual role, focused on expanding and promoting our employment initiatives. Casey has a long history of working in the I/DD field and is a champion of Employment First.  He is a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) and is part of several efforts to enhance the availability, quality, and scope of employment related supports for individuals with disabilities. Casey will work with the Division to expand employment opportunities in the state of Illinois for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (Contact: Beth Owens)
 
THE ALLIANCE RELEASES NEW CDS RESOURCE
Division of Developmental Disabilities has announced that Community Day Services (CDS) programs may reopen September 1, 2020 if Illinois continues to meet identified goals in the Restore Illinois Phase process. The Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance, Inc (The Alliance) developed a resource to support individuals considering returning to CDS and help them understand their options. The resource can be found HERE. (Contact: Beth Owens)

NAMI CHICAGO CONDUCTING NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY
NAMI Chicago is conducting a needs assessment survey, which helps understand the gaps and opportunities for the mental health system in Chicago and Illinois.

NAMI Chicago is asking for your help to lift up diverse mental health experiences by completing and sharing our survey with your agency’s staff and community.
 
The survey is available in English or Spanish.
 
NAMI Chicago’s community survey closes August 31st, 2020. IARF will be happy to share the report of when it is completed in the fall. (Contact: Dan Frey)

VOTE YES FOR FAIR TAX ORGANIZATIONAL SIGN-ON
As you all know, IARF last December unanimously passed a resolution to support the Illinois Fair Tax initiative. As a part of that initiative, IARF has been participating in the Vote Yes for Fair Tax and Vote Yes for Fairness committees.
 
Vote Yes for Fair Tax has requested that organizations who support the passage of the Fair Tax constitutional amendment in November sign on to formally list their support. You can do so by clicking here. (Contact: Dan Frey)

SAMHSA/NATCON WEBINAR AUGUST 11
A SAMHSA sponsored webinar presented by the National Council for Behavioral Health, will take place Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Central Time called “A Whole Person Approach to Working with Individuals who are living with Serious Mental Illness. You can register by clicking here.NA
  
This webinar will discuss strategies for developing and implementing a whole person approach when serving individuals who are living with serious mental illness (SMI). Key considerations include access to basic needs and social determinants of health when treating and managing SMI; access to community-based supports to reduce barriers to resources; and access to peer support through Warm Lines and other crisis service systems. (Contact: Dan Frey)

ILLINICARE OFFICIALLY BECOMING AETNA BETTER HEALTH OCTOBER 1
IlliniCare Health will become Aetna Better Health of Illinois. The official change will take place on October 1, 2020. Members will begin to see Aetna Better Health of Illinois information in the mail. Aetna will mail members a new ID card in late September. Members should use their current IlliniCare Health ID card until they receive your new Aetna Better Health ID card.
 
Aetna will launch our new website, AetnaBetterHealth.com/Illinois-Medicaid, on October 1. Until then,
Members can continue to visit IlliniCare.com to stay up to date on upcoming changes.  If you have questions about this change, just call Member Services at 1-866-329-4701 (TTY: 711). (Contact: Dan Frey)

DMH ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SESSIONS FOR 2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
The Division of Mental Health has announce additional sessions are now open for our 2020 Evidence Based Practices Virtual Conference.
 
Please see the updated flyer and note that registration links are embedded separately for each session.
 
CEUs will be available for LCSWs, LSWs, LCPCs, LPCs, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators, CRSS and CRSS-e.
 
This conference is made possible through the Illinois Mental Health Block Grant Technical Assistance and Training Set Aside, and is free of charge to all attendees.
 
Any questions related to the conference or registration can be directed to Courtney.E.Aidich@illinois.gov. (Contact: Dan Frey)

IDHS LAUNCHES THREE NEW MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has announced three new mental health programs designed to provide additional support for Illinois residents. These new resources will be provided by community organizations through the Living Room Program (LRP), Transitional Living Centers (TLCs), and the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs (TCCS) throughout the state.  You can see more information and read the full announcement by clicking here. (Contact: Dan Frey)

RE-OPENING UNDER THE COVID-19 PRESUMPTION WEBINAR RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE
Last Thursday, The Horton Group hosted a webinar with Amelia Schwingle, Partner at Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C. The Re-Opening Under the COVID-19 Presumption Webinar recording is now available to view on-demand. This webinar discusses HB 2455 being signed into law and what that means for you and also covers: new changes to the Occupational Disease Act under HB 2455; how to avoid potential COVID-19 claims; and how to address any claims that arise under the Act changes. Click here to view the webinar recording. (Contact: Maggie Henley) 

HRS WEBINAR: THE FATAL FIVE + COVID-19 – HOW TO IDENTIFY AND PREVENT
Join HRS, Inc. on August 19th for The Fatal Five + Covid-19 Webinar. Learn how to reduce risk of death in people with disabilities! This webinar covers the Fatal Five conditions that are widely known to be preventable causes of illness and death in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities PLUS two more important conditions.
 
How to identify and prevent:

  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Aspiration
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Sepsis
  • + Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • + COVID-19

The Fatal Five + Covid-19 webinar will be held on August 19th at 10:00 am CST. This webinar qualifies for 2 CEUs for RNs and LPNs: $25 for 2 CEUs; $15 without CEUs. Click here to learn more and register. (Contact: Maggie Henley)
 
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING AS AN INTEGRATED HEALTH HOME?
With the launch of the Integrated Health Home (IHH) now pushed back to January 1, 2021, there are ways to begin the process of becoming an IHH ahead of more specific information or criteria becoming available. If you are interested in serving as an IHH, please let the Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans (IAMHP) know and they will send that information on to the Medicaid health plans.
 
Complete the IHH Submission Form and IAMHP will send at least a weekly report to the plans with your information. (Contact: Dan Frey)

 













Thank You to Our Supporting Members & Partners!

 
 
 







Thank you to our 2019 Conference Sponsors!
 


 
 



 






 
 




 



 














Josh Evans - President & CEO  - jevans@iarf.org
Beth Owens - Vice President for Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Policy - bowens@iarf.org
Daniel M.O. Frey - Vice President for Behavioral Health Policy - dfrey@iarf.org  
Luis Andrade - Vice President of Health & Long-Term Care Policy - landrade@iarf.org
Maggie Henley - Director of Member Services - mhenley@iarf.org
(217) 801-9303













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