September 18, 2020

Table of Contents:
  • Barb Bancroft Announced as Second Keynote Speaker Announced at the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference
  • U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for End of 14c
  • Urgent: IARF PPE Survey
  • Now Accepting Nominations for the 2020 IARF Community Care Professional of the Year Award
  • Therap Webinar for IARF Members: Person-Centered Thinking & Community Based Documentation
  • IARF Webinar WC-103: Navigating Complex Claims September 29
  • The Horton Group to Host Webinar on Navigating the PPP September 22
  • Are You Interested in Serving as an Integrated Health Home?
  • IARF BH COVID Billing Relief Extension & Telehealth Utilization Survey
  • Vote Yes For Fair Tax Organizational Sign-On
  • IARF Member Virtual Networking Next Week
  • Full-Time Administrator Opening at Meadows
  • COVID-19 Update: Numbers Improving in the South Suburbs
  • First Round Distribution of (CARES) Act Funds Appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly
  • IARF Advancing Tele-Health Recommendations with Key Legislators
  • DDD Releases CDS Provider Survey
  • DDD Draft Information Bulletins
  • DDD Announces Next Steps for Virtual Day Services
  • Ligas Compliance Tool

IARF is excited to announce that Barb Bancroft, RN, MSN, NP as our second keynote speaker at the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference! Barb is a fascinating, highly informative speaker whose dynamic and humorous presentation style makes learning enjoyable! Join Barb live at the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference for her keynote session, To Your Health!, where she will discuss the most important health concerns in today's workforce and the implications of self-management. You will not only leave the seminar laughing your way to a healthier lifestyle, but you will take home practical pearls for health maintenance!
The 2020 IARF Virtual Conference will also feature 5 additional keynote speakers, over 15 educational sessions, a virtual exhibit hall and continuing education credits! Click here to learn more about the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference, view the schedule-at-a-glance, and register to attend today! Or, if you would like to learn more about exhibiting or sponsoring the Virtual Conference, click here to see what packages are available. (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Yesterday the U.S. Commision on Civil Rights published a lengthy report examining current implementation of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  As a result of the examination, the Commission issued a primary recommendation that “Congress should repeal Section 14(c) with a planned phase-out period to allow transition among service providers and people with disabilities to alternative service models prioritizing competitive integrated employment.”

Additional findings from the Executive Summary include:

  • Its (14(c)) operation in practice remains discriminatory by permitting payment of subminimum wages based on disability without sufficient controls to ensure that the program operates as designed
  • with regard to wage disparities, the program is rife with abuse and difficult to administer without harming employees with disabilities;
  • Section 14(c) does not require, but has often resulted in, persons with disabilities being segregated into sheltered workshops without contact with persons without disabilities, except in a support or supervisory role;
The Commission also noted that it received the highest number of public comments on any topic they have discussed: 9,700 over a month – including the majority of comments from parents stating that Section 14(c) is needed to protect employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

As our team – and you – read through the Commission report, we find that we are in interesting times in discussing this topic in the pandemic era, with its impact on employment opportunities and Community Day Services in Illinois.  Chicago is currently operating under an ordinance to phase out utilization of 14(c), with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities funding projects with the Anixter Center and Envision Unlimited.  Legislation has been introduced in successive legislative sessions in the General Assembly on this topic. 
IARF has been very active in the discussion on Section 14(c) and competitive integrated employment for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities.  We think it is important to highlight how our organization and members have been engaged on these issues:
  • worked with the Arc of Illinois to pass Illinois’ Employment First law;
  • Actively participated in the DHS-DDD Employment First Stakeholder Workgroup with consultant Lisa Mills, including advancing recommendations on an acuity-based rates under the then “day training” program;
  • Ongoing participation in the Illinois Task Force on Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities;
  • Advanced legislation in the Illinois Senate to contemporize Illinois’ State Use law;
  • Led efforts to pass the Customized Employment for Individuals with Disabilities Act;
  • Produced IARF Board approved “Principles on Employment Opportunities for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities”;
  • Participated in discussions of the Employment and Training Subcomittee of the Rates Oversight Committee, which is currently reviewing rate recommendations by Guidehouse;
  • Led the introduction of legislation in the General Assembly to:
    • contemporize Illinois’ State Use Law;
    • increase utilization of individual and group supported employment;
    • Increase acuity-based rate differentials in on-site and off-site CDS;
    • Increase access and utilization of customized employment services and supports;
    • Increase utilization of competitive integrated employment services and supports; and
    • Ensure individuals working and residing in CILA could retain all earned income, rather than have significant portions taken to offset the cost of services and supports;
  • Recommended DHS-DDD become part of the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), which is being funded through the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities;
  • Collaborating with ANCOR, the Institute, and providers through the National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network (NEON) grant to develop a statewide strategic plan to advance competitive integrated employment & Illinois; and
  • Collaborated with SIARF – and as a part of our NEON grant technical assistance – held a series of webinars on Meaningful Day Services: Putting people on the path to success.

As you can see, the Association and our members have been steeped in discussions on employment for adults with I/DD and will continue to do so through collaborative efforts with the Department and stakeholders. (Contact: Josh Evans)

Senate Leader Mattie Hunter has invited IARF  to speak to the members of Healthcare and Human Services Working Group next Monday September 21 at 10:00 a.m. to offer its perspective on the funding for its services, specifically from MCOs, and share how IARF providers have managed during the pandemic, specifically if they have sufficient PPE or foresee shortages in the future.

Please fill out this survey at your earliest convenience so that IARF will be able to present an accurate picture of your PPE situation and needs.  (Contact: Dan Frey)

IARF is excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the 2020 IARF Community Care Professional of the Year!  The purpose of this award is to acknowledge excellence. This award seeks to recognize a frontline staff member working in an IARF member agency that exemplifies quality care, compassion, person-centered focus, and commitment to the individuals and families they support and understands the value of the care professional's work. In recognition of the incredible work of so many frontline staff during the COVID-19 pandemic era, for 2020, IARF will recognize all nominees during our award presentation during the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference: Meeting the Challenge and the award winner will receive a complimentary ticket for a full conference registration!

The 2020 IARF Community Care Professional of the Year is intended to acknowledge a frontline staff person.  By this, we mean an individual that provides direct services and supports to an individual receiving services at an IARF member agency. This may include, but is not limited to, DSPs, QIDPs, QMHPs, MHPs, LCPs, nurses, RSAs, etc.  IARF members are eligible to nominate one frontline staff person from each organization. In order to successfully nominate someone for the award, nominators must complete the online nomination form by October 19, 2020.  Click here to view the nomination criteria details. Click here to access the nomination form. (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Person-centered planning has become a buzz word all over the nation, but is it really effective in getting people the lives they desire? Join this Therap session on person-centered thinking, discovery and planning. This conversation will challenge your thinking on the “why” of person-centered practices and its impact on helping individuals to achieve their desired good life through personalized supports. The second half of this webinar will delve into Community Based Documentation: Considerations, policies and practices with a live demonstration of Therap's mobile application Suite.  Please register here. (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Join us for the IARF members only webinar, WC 103: Navigating Complex Claims. In course three of the IARF Workers’ Compensation Webinar Series presenter Lori Beers will discuss what happens when cases get a bit more serious and an employee is taken off work or needs more serious medical treatment, including surgery. She will talk about ways your claims adjuster can help employers navigate more serious/complex claims. Lastly, she will look at legal representation, and what that means to employers.
This IARF Member webinar will be held on September 29th from 10:00 am – 11:00am. Registration for IARF Members is FREE and member login is required. Click here to learn more and register. (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Join The Horton Group on September 22nd for an informational webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Certified Exit Planning Advisor® (CEPA), Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor® (CM&AA), Brett Dearing, partner at Certiy Partners will discuss how to navigate the PPP. During the webinar Dearing will give an overview of PPP, discuss potential future challenges caused by the loan and transitioning to the growth mindset. Details and webinar registration link are available below.  (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Navigating the PPP: How to Maximize Forgiveness and Prepare for Future Challenges Webinar
Tuesday, September 22
10:00 am – 11:00 am

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)

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)

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.  Individuals who want to be listed as a supporter, or validator, of the Fair Tax can click here. (Contact: Dan Frey)

Join us in September for some IARF Member networking! Much of the focus of our membership, committee, and board meetings are focused discussions on particular topics. While that remains important and a top priority of the Association, we want to ensure that we are additionally providing a venue online where members can openly network with one another and share best practices.

On September 23rd, IARF will host open Zoom meetings for member networking. We will have various rooms moderated by staff available for small group discussions in the following areas:

  • “I have questions…”
  • “We’re doing cool things over here!
  • “What are you hearing?”
  • “I just need to vent!”

Whether you have questions, would like to share what your organization is doing or simply connect with other IARF members join us for this virtual networking event! Click here to RSVP. (Contact: All Staff)

Meadows is seeking a replacement for a retiring administrator who has held this position for 22 years. Meadows is accepting applications for a fully licensed administrator for a 95 bed ICF DD facility, in northwest Chicago suburbs. Any applicant must have a license for nursing home administration. Meadows is a stable 95 bed facility for developmentally disabled adults located in northwest suburban Chicago and has served this population for over 40 years. If interested, please contact 847-398-3787 during business hours or submit your resume to (Contact: Maggie Henley)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker might soon lift the coronavirus timeout he imposed last month on the far south suburbs, as public health officials on Thursday announced the latest set of generally encouraging COVID-19 numbers. Another 1,941 people statewide were confirmed to carry the virus among 52,311 tests submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That raised the state’s testing positivity rate over the last week by a notch to 3.7%, but that key gauge of how quickly the virus is spreading is still down almost a full percentage point over the last two weeks. And it’s sunk to 6.4% in Will and Kankakee counties, where Pritzker banned indoor dining in late August after positivity rates soared over 8% across the region. If it stays below 6.5% for three days, restrictions will be lifted.
“Masks, distance, hand-washing, enforcement — it all works, and Will and Kankakee counties are, so far, getting the job done. And we’re all rooting for them,” the Democratic governor said during a Loop news conference. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has posted a new Provider Notice regarding First Round Distribution of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act FundsAppropriated by the Illinois General Assembly.  You may view the new notice here. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

This week, Vice President for Health and Long-Term Care Policy Luis Andrade and Vice President for Behavioral Health Policy Dan Frey participated in a discussion with Representative Thaddeus Jones on recommendation to improve access to telehealth services in behavioral health and I/DD settings. The Association has prepared draft legislative language for consideration by these and other legislators in anticipation of potential action as soon as the Fall Veto Session. This week’s discussion included the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the American Cancer Network, and the Ounce of Prevention.
Additionally, IARF has been invited to participate in another legislative discussion with the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee and Senate Majority Leader Mattie Hunter next week. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

The Division has released a CDS survey to providers that is intended to gather data on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Community Day Services (CDS) system with regards to individuals returning to services.  The document is an excel workbook with multiple pages to document every CDS site and agency may operate.  The Division is requesting that the data in the survey be based on cumulative participation for the month of September.  The Division is requesting the survey to be returned via e-mail to Valerie Taylor,, by October 9, 2020.  Questions about the survey can be sent to George Bengel, or Derek Hedges, (Contact: Beth Owens)
The Division has 4 Information Bulletins (IB) currently in draft form that are open for comment:

DRAFT - Additional Staff Supports During At-Home Day Services (Waiver Funded)
DRAFT - Virtual Day Services
DRAFT - CILA and POS Bed Hold Request Form and Process
DRAFT - CILA and DD Facilities Electronic Monitoring Forms and Process

A Draft Information Bulletin on SEP and the recently signed DRS/ DDD MOU is expected to be released soon.  Any feedback or comments on the current draft IB’s can be sent to Beth Owens, (Contact: Beth Owens)
In addition to the Draft IB for Virtual Day Services (VDS)  the Division has released a Virtual Day Services User Guide). The Division is working with the Department of Information and Technology (DoIT) to complete the programming so that providers can bill, and be paid, for these services.  VDS will require prior approval from the Division. Any individual who wishes to participate in VDS will have to complete an update to their Personal Plan and get prior approval using the newly updated Alternative Day Services Request Form (IL462-0285). VDS is a service under our Appendix K (which is set to expire in January of 2021) however the Division will be evaluating utilization and the possibility of keeping it in the waiver. (Contact: Beth Owens)
The Ligas Court Monitor’s 7th Annual Report included a summary of the findings from the Ligas compliance review ( Annual Report and Compliance review findings).  The next steps in the Ligas Compliance Review Process will begin for both the ISCs and providers this month.  The ISC agencies have received the scorecards for the 225 Class Members and have begun working on the Plan of Corrective Action (POCA) to address non-compliance in those areas directly impacted by the ISC.  The ISC agencies will share the scorecards with the individual’s CILA provider agency who will then complete their own POCA to address non-compliance in those areas directly impacted by the provider.  
This week, the Division notified provider organizations serving the 225 Class Members who are required to complete a POCA with further information. Next week, the Division will host a webinar (Wednesday, September 23) to provide information to those provider agencies. During the webinar, the Court Monitor and her team will describe the scorecard and POCA process and answer questions about the process.  The Division and Court Monitor’s team plan to host “office hours” to allow providers and ISCs an opportunity to ask additional questions including questions specific to an individual’s scorecard.  If you have any immediate questions, please reach out to Cynthia SchierlSpreen at  (Contact: Beth Owens)

Thank You to Our Supporting Members & Partners!


Thank you to our 2019 Conference Sponsors!






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

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