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July 17, 2020



Table of Contents:
  • Continue Federal Push for Investment in I/DD and BH COVID-19 Relief
  • Change in COVID Regions as Part of New Mitigation Plan from Pritzker Administration
  • Federal CMS: Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation – Implementation Timeline Extension
  • Medicaid & CHIP Payment Portal Closes Monday – Awaiting Details on Further CARES Act Opportunities
  • IM+CANS Webinars for Provider Portal Batch Upload Development and Information Posted
  • Over $2 million in Fines for Health Insurance Companies Violating IL Mental Health Parity Laws
  • Pritzker Administration Launches Program to Reduce Housing Insecurity for Justice-Involved Individuals
  • Horton Group Webinar to Discuss Recent Changes to IL Workers’ Comp Law
  • CINRC Webinar: Positioning Your Nonprofit Post COVID-19
  • Vote Yes for Fair Tax Organizational Sign-On
  • Are You Interested in Serving as an Integrated Health Home?
  • Maximize PPP Advance Forgiveness
  • ICDD Wants to Hear From You - 5 year State Plan Survey

CONTINUE FEDERAL PUSH FOR INVESTMENT IN I/DD AND BH COVID-19 RELIEF
The U.S House of Representatives has earlier passed the HEROES Act, which included several provisions aimed at supporting HCBS and behavioral health providers that have been working during the pandemic to support individuals and families in our communities.  While the U.S. Senate did not take up the HEROES Act, we know that over the next several days, the Senate will draft its companion bill to the House’s HEROES Act. By speaking up today on behalf of I/DD and BH supports, you will help keep the needs of people with disabilities and and serious mental illnesses and the professionals supporting them front of mind as Congress negotiates its next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.
 
Please reach out to U.S. Senator Durbin and Duckworth to request their support on specific provisions in the Senate companion bill to the HEROES Act. (Contact: Josh Evans)
 
CHANGE IN COVID REGIONS AS PART OF NEW MITIGATION PLAN FROM PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION
Governor Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced a new COVID-19 mitigation plan focused on combating a resurgence of cases while maintaining the progress the state has made towards bending the curve over the last four months.  Click here to read the entire press release.

Changes make the city of Chicago and Cook County two separate regions as well as divide the surrounding suburbs into three regions based on geography. The rest of the state is divided into six regions, including one for the Metro East area, three separate ones for central Illinois, one for the southern part of the state another for northern Illinois.

Officials also unveiled what metrics would require a response and what restrictions may be reimplemented.  Metric changes include a sustained increase in seven-day rolling average in the positivity rate for seven out of 10 days and either a sustained seven-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-like illness or a reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities. That would include available ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds dropping under 20 percent. (Contact: Dan Frey)
 
FEDERAL CMS: HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SETTINGS REGULATION - IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE EXTENSION
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to state Medicaid agencies informing them that the agency will be extending the deadline for ensuring compliance with the Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS recognizes that states have faced significant challenges and delays in their implementation activities, and that service provision and community integration approaches have been disrupted.  

Due to these unprecedented challenges, CMS has extended the compliance deadline for this regulation to March 17, 2023. CMS is committed to continuing its work with states, advocates, and other stakeholders to continue to improve HCBS options. Technical assistance and support for states remains available during the extension period to ensure meaningful progress with ongoing implementation efforts.

Home and Community-Based Settings Regulation – Implementation Timeline Extension and Revised Frequently Asked Questions State Medicaid Director Letter (Contact: Luis Andrade)
 
MEDICAID & CHIP PAYMENT PORTAL APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO AUGUST 3RD – AWAITING DETAILS ON FURTHER CARES ACT OPPORTUNITIES
We wanted to ensure all members were aware that the Medicaid & CHIP Payment Portal will remain open until August 3rd – largely due to the low number of applications filed to-date.  Providers that didn’t receive General Distribution Funding with significant Medicaid funding should seek application (in fact, we are encouraging all members to seek application if they are unsure if they are eligible).
 
As reported to us by ANCOR, “HHS has also signaled that there will be a "Phase 3" of distribution of CARES Act funds to help continue to distribute relief funds, and to pick up "Medicaid dependent" providers that were foreclosed from participating in the current portal opportunity because of having previously qualified for, but not having been cued to attest to, nominal amounts of Medicare relief.
 
This is another affirmation that HHS will provide an opportunity for Medicaid providers – such as many IARF members – to apply and receive CARES Act funding at a future date.
(Contact: Josh Evans)

IM+CANS WEBINARS FOR PROVIER PORTAL BATCH UPLOAD DEVELOPMENT AND INFORMATION POSTED
The presentation for previously held IM+CANS webinars on Portal Batch Upload Development and Information have been posted online and can be accessed here.  IM+CANS is currently slated to be in effect on October 1, 2020, though if you are concerned about your ability to meet that deadline, please let IARF staff know so that they can assist. (Contact: Dan Frey)
 
OVER $2 MILLION IN FINES FOR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES VIOLATING IL MENTAL HEALTH PARITY LAWS
The Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) has announced fines totaling over $2 million for five major health insurance companies found to be in violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). CIGNA Healthcare of IL, UnitedHealthcare, CIGNA Health and Life, HCSC, and Celtic were found to be in violation of Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act The Act is a federal law mandating that health insurance plans must have equivalent levels of coverage for mental health and substance use disorder care as for medical or surgical care; Illinois law further expanded those requirements.
The unprecedented fines for the five major health insurance companies build on the administration’s efforts to ensure parity for Illinoisans seeking treatment for mental health and substance use disorder.  (Contact: Dan Frey)
 
PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO REDUCE HOUSING INSECURITY FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED INDIVIDUALS
In partnership with Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has announced the launch of the Re-Entry Rental Housing Support Demonstration Program, an interagency initiative designed to meet the housing needs of individuals exiting IDOC facilities. Under the new program, IHDA has entered into funding agreements with four local administering agencies (LAA) who will deploy $3 million in grant funding over 3 years to support housing placement and ongoing rental subsidies for 75 eligible participants specifically referred by IDOC’s new Reentry Division. With the launch of the program, the IDOC may begin making referrals to the participating LAAs to connect individuals with available rental units in their community.  To read the entire press release for more information on this initiative, please click here. (Contact: Dan Frey)
 
HORTON GROUP WEBINAR TO DISCUSS RECENT CHANGES TO IL WORKERS’ COMP LAW
Join The Horton Group and Amelia Schwingle, Partner at Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C., for a webinar on July 30th to discuss HB 2455 being signed into law and what that means for you. This webinar will cover recent changes to Illinois Worker's Compensation law as a result of HB 2455/P.A. 101-0633.
 
During this webinar, Amelia will go over:

  • New changes to the Occupational Disease Act under HB 2455
  • How to avoid potential COVID-19 claims
  • How to address any claims that arise under the Act changes

Re-Opening Under the COVID-19 Presumption Webinar
July 30, 2020 - 10:00 am - 11:00 am
REGISTER HERE (Contact: Maggie Henley)

CINRC WEBINAR: POSITIONING YOUR NONPROFIT POST COVID-19
Nonprofit organizations are facing unprecedented times since facing a public health crisis that has changed the way they do business. For those nonprofits that have managed to stay afloat during dire economic and human loss, their direction is unclear. UIS alum, Dr. Tosha Cantrell-Bruce, will be leading a discussion on July 30, 2020 from 9 to 11 am. She will be discussing how nonprofits can use different approaches to provide both internal and external scans of their environments to maximize the efforts and reach the most clients as possible.  Organizations are asked to bring an example of a challenge or change that they are making since COVID-19 so that we can organize into teams to work together to problem-solve and learn from each other after during the hands-on portion of the workshop. Click here to learn more and register today. (Contact: Maggie Henley)
 
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)
 
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)
 
MAXIMIZE PPP ADVANCE FORGIVENESS
On advice from one of our Co-Chairs of the CFO Committee, we are sharing information on the following upcoming webinar (Monday).

The SBA recently clarified the computation of owner-employees and owner's compensation replacement for the purpose of computing PPP forgiveness. The SBA also issued form 3508EZ (PPP Forgiveness Application) that many borrowers will be able to use and the full form 3508 that the remaining PPP borrowers will have to use. With the new rules provided by both the PPP Flexibility Act and SBA additional guidance that allows a 24 week "covered period" instead of the previous 8 weeks "covered period", much if not all of the PPP loan will be forgiven. However, the 8 week "covered period" can be elected if the client chooses. This webinar will focus on the recent changes and we will be providing EXCEL worksheets to assist you in preparation of both forms 3508EZ and 3508. This webinar is a must attend for practitioners who will be assisting their clients in completing the PPP forgiveness application.
 
Register here.
 
(Contact: Josh Evans)
 
ICDD WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU - 5 YEAR STATE PLAN SURVEY
The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) is looking closely at Illinois and the needs of every person with a developmental disability to be able to live a healthy and happy life in their community. The Council’s activities and funding opportunities are guided by their current 5-Year State Plan (YSP).  ICDD is looking ahead to what should be in their next 5-YSP which begins in the fall of 2021. Therefore, ICDD invites you to share your thoughts by taking this Short Survey (5 minutes). (Contact: Luis Andrade)
 







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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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