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August 28, 2020




Table of Contents:
  • Save the Date for the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference
  • IARF Member Appreciation Week 2020
  • IARF President & CEO Update: With Resilience and Resolve we Look to the Uncertain Future of Community Day Services in Illinois
  • Nominations Open for NAQ Spotlight Award
  • NADSP and CQL Want to Hear About Your DSP Initiatives
  • CARES ACT Phase 2 General Distribution Funding Extended to September 13
  • Next Level Health Needs Outstanding Claims As Soon As Possible
  • Managed Care Youth in Care Program to Begin September 1
  • IARF BH COVID Billing Relief Extension & Telehealth Utilization Survey
  • Governor Pritzker Imposes More Restrictions in Kankakee and Will Counties Due to Covid-19
  • IDHS Announces OPS Community Engagement Project Report
  • DDD Releases Draft Information Bulletins – Appeals and Bed Holds
  • IDPH to Conduct Independent Review of LTC Facilities
  • IPADD Releases Annual Illinois Community Living Report
  • Federal CMS Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices
  • Are You Interested in Serving as an Integrated Health Home?
  • Vote Yes For Fair Tax Organizational Sign-On
 



Save the Date for the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2020 IARF Virtual Conference! The IARF Virtual Conference will be held November 10, 11, 17, & 18 and will feature six keynote presentations, over 15 breakout sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, and CE hours will be available to attendees. Same dynamic content, new format!
 
We will share details in our weekly newsletter, via email and on the conference website as they evolve.  Be on the lookout for more details such as registration, a detailed schedule, and other conference opportunities. We hope you can join us in November, and we look forward to seeing you online! (Contact: All Staff)

IARF MEMEMBER APPRECIATION WEEK 2020
This week, IARF celebrated our 4th annual member appreciation week. Throughout the week, the Association shared with members an online workshop, exclusive offers and giveaways from our Supporting Members, social media shoutouts, and a fun video message from staff to end the week. As this week comes to a close, we would like to thank and recognize IARF Members for being the shining light for you serve and support. Your commitment and resilience in these trying times is without equal.  The IARF team is proud to represent Illinois’ finest social service providers!  We hope you have enjoyed our week-long celebration of YOU! (Contact: All Staff)



IARF PRESIDENT & CEO UPDATE: WITH RESILIENCE AND RESOLVE WE LOOK TO THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF COMMUNITY DAY SERVICES IN ILLINOIS
Earlier today, I sent an update to the field on the future of Community Day Services in Illinois.  This update attempts to capture some of the sentiments from the discussion during the August meeting of the IARF Board of Directors, as well as continue dialogue with colleagues, members, and leadership in state government. (Contact: Josh Evans)

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR NAQ SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Developmental Disability Professionals go by many names - QIDPs, Case Managers, and Service Coordinators to name just a few. We worry less about their title and more about their function. Formal titles aside, these disability professionals fulfill a variety of roles - from advocate to educator to leader. They are resilient in the face of challenge. They are uncompromising in the provision of person directed supports.
 
Do you know a Developmental Disability Professional that consistently goes above and beyond – someone who deserves a little extra recognition for a job well done? If so, please nominate them for NAQs Spotlight Award.  (Contact: Maggie Henley)

NADSP AND CQL WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR DSP INITIATIVES
DSP Recognition Week is September 13 – 19, 2020.  NADSP and CQL want to learn about specific organization-wide initiatives that lift up and bolster DSPs throughout the entire year. This includes significant, long-lasting, and meaningful actions that have far-reaching effects on DSPs.
They want to share organizational efforts that provide solutions to these types of questions:

  • What platform or methods do you use to recognize DSPs throughout the entire year?
  • How are DSPs involved in ‘big-picture’ decision-making at your organization?
  • What specific programs do you have in place to help DSPs advance in their career?
  • How do you offer staff development opportunities for DSPs?
  • What platform or methods do you use to collect DSP questions, concerns, and suggestions?
  • How have you transformed systems and practices to be responsive to the needs of DSPs?

During National DSP Recognition Week, NADSP and CQL will post these initiatives on their websites and social media accounts to help spread best practices and improve the standing of DSPs nationwide. While we know you will offer gratitude for DSPs during National DSP Recognition Week, this campaign has the potential to make a world of difference in the lives of thousands of DSPs.  Initiatives can be submitted HERE by 8/28/20. (Contact: Beth Owens)

CARES ACT PHASE 2 GENERAL DISTRIBUTION FUNDING EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 13
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPCHE), the federal government has allocated $175 billion in payments to be distributed through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF).
These payments do not need to be repaid to the US government, assuming providers comply with the terms and conditions.
 
Note: Applications are currently open for Phase 2 General Distribution funding for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), dental providers, and certain Medicare providers. UPDATE: The deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding has been extended to September 13, 2020.
 
The reporting notice initially advised recipients that additional details regarding data elements would be provided by August 17, 2020. HRSA is continuing to refine its data elements and will provide those additional details at a date later than August 17, 2020.
 
Providers will still be given the detailed PRF reporting instructions and a data collection template with the necessary data elements they will be asked to submit well in advance of the reporting system being made available – which is currently targeted for October 1, 2020.  (Contact: Dan Frey)

NEXT LEVEL HEALTH NEEDS OUTSTANDING CLAIMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
NextLevel Health, whose membership was transferred to Meridian and is responsible for claims through July 1 are asking all providers to submit all outstanding claims for services provided to NLH members through June 30, 2020 as soon as possible.   Copies of the memo are also posted on various webpages on our website. (Contact: Dan Frey)

MANAGED CARE YOUTH IN CARE PROGRAM TO BEGIN SEPTEMBER 1
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced that youth in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will transition to the new YouthCare program on September 1, 2020. DCFS youth in care will be automatically enrolled in the YouthCare health plan. YouthCare is a specialized HealthChoice Illinois Health Plan for DCFS youth, designed to improve access to care through active coordination and a more robust provider network. With YouthCare, DCFS youth will receive additional benefits, such as care coordination for behavioral health needs, including trauma-informed care. YouthCare also offers specialized programming for adoptive families, including an adoption-competent network of therapists to support the different phases of adoption and child development. (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)

GOVERNOR PRITZKER IMPOSES MORE RESTRICTIONS ON KANKAKEE AND WILL COUNTIES DUE TO COVID-19
Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a “red alert” this week for Will and Kankakee counties while issuing his coronavirus crackdown on the region due to rising COVID-19 testing positivity rates. Indoor dining and bar service is banned in Will and Kankakee counties beginning Wednesday, a state “mitigation” effort that’s the result of the region reporting three consecutive days with an average testing positivity rate of 8% or higher. The region will need to get under 6.5% positivity over a 14-day period in order to return to the current Phase 4 guidelines under which much of the rest of the state is operating. If the positivity rate average is equal to or greater than 8% after 14 days, more restrictions will be applied. The state has listed Will County at “warning level” for the past two weeks for its high level of new COVID-19 cases and, as of last Friday, for its increasing number of deaths from COVID-19. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

IDHS ANNOUNCES OPS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT REPORT
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced the release of the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) Community Engagement Project Report and next steps for Opioid Overdose Prevention Sites on Chicago’s West Side neighborhood. IDHS, the Prevention Partnership/West Side Heroin/Opioid Task Force, and Advocates for Human Potential completed the report, which found that 86% of Chicago’s West Side community members believed an OPS would be beneficial to their West Side communities. Efforts for creating an OPS will begin with the creation of a community advisory council to guide community education and engagement efforts and OPS planning activities.
 
Overdose prevention sites (OPS) are legally sanctioned health service facilities that allow people to use pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of trained staff. OPS give people a safe, clean place to use their drugs and staff who can step in immediately and respond if an overdose occurs. Studies show that an OPS can reduce overdoses, improve public safety, reduce infectious disease risks, and connect people to substance use treatment and recovery support services. Sanctioned OPSs are an asset to the community as health centers that are staffed by health professionals and offer a variety of immediate health services to people who use drugs, such as Hepatitis vaccinations and services that can reduce the harms of drug use.  You can view the entire report here. (Contact: Dan Frey)

DDD RELEASES DRAFT INFORMATIONAL BULLETINS – APPEALS AND BED HOLDS
The Division of Developmental Disabilities released two Draft Informational Bulletins (IB) this week.  The first Draft IB is titled CILA and POS Bed Hold Request Form and Process.  The second IB is titled Appeals Process - Effective Immediately.  The comment period on these two draft IB’s is open until September 8th.  (Contact: Beth Owens)

IDPH TO CONDUCT INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF LTC FACILITIES
The Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) is launching an investigation into the long-term care bureau after complaints and high rates of COVID-19 infections. DPH announced this week that it is reviewing the bureau after discovering that investigations into abuse and neglect were delayed between mid-March and June. Director Ngozi Ezike, Director of the department, says the findings are unacceptable. Over half of all Illinois COVID-19 deaths have been connected to long-term care facilities. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

IPADD RELEASES 2020 ILLINOIS COMMUNITY LIVING REPORT
IPADD (Illinois Parents of Adults with Developmental Disabilities) this week released their 2020 Community Living Report, which evaluates every member of the Illinois General Assembly, and the Governor based on their support or opposition to ten new state laws. IARF members, please share with your self-advocates and families to extend our reach. Urge them to take a few minutes to forward to their state legislators with an appropriate message of “thanks” or to share their story and the importance of legislator support in the next session. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

FEDERAL CMS LAUNCHES NATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN NURSING HOME INFECTION CONTROL PRACTICES
This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are implementing national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The training is designed to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with the knowledge they need to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their nursing homes. The training announced today will be available immediately to staff of America’s 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes and focuses on critical topics like infection control and prevention, appropriate screening of visitors, effective co-horting of residents, safe admission and transfer of residents, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – all critical elements of stopping the spread of COVID-19.  The training will be available on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal.
 
It is important to note it is not likely these requirements will fall on ICF/MR/ICFDD settings at this time based on feedback we’ve received. (Contact: Luis Andrade)

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)

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)













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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