Delay Until January 1 for Implementation of HFS Provider Registration

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services is delaying implementation of the ordering/referring/prescribing requirements until January 1, 2020. This applies to claims for persons with traditional fee-for-service coverage as well as a HealthChoice Illinois managed care plan.  Check out the notice here and below:

This notice is a reminder that any provider who orders, refers, or prescribes for a participant under the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Medical Programs must be enrolled and identified by a National Provider Identifier (NPI) on applicable claims submitted. Per the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act section 6401(b) and subsequent federal regulations at  42 CFR 455.410(b) and 455.440, the Department is mandated to require this and is subject to federal audit.      

The Department is delaying implementation of the ordering/referring/prescribing requirements until January 1, 2020. This applies to claims for persons with traditional fee-for-service coverage as well as a  HealthChoice Illinois managed care plan.  The last  informational notice dated September 23, 2019 regarding ordering/referring/prescribing providers contains links to earlier policy releases.  

Providers not enrolled must go to the  IMPACT webpage to start the enrollment process. The Department has made available an  Illinois Medicaid Provider Directory housed on the IMPACT home page. The directory may be used to verify enrollment of a provider in the Illinois Medical Assistance Program.  Questions regarding this notice may be directed to a billing consultant for the specific provider type at 877-782-5565.

Still Waiting on the Federal Gov for the 3.5%

A quick update/non-update regarding the 3.5% rate increase that was passed in May through the state budget.  The state submitted a number of months ago now for approval of the 3.5% rate increase retroactive to July 1.  This money would be able to go for wage increases as well as other expenses that will help keep organizations running.  The federal government, specifically the centers for medicare and medicaid services (CMS) moves at its own speed and now we are waiting for their approval of the rate and the retroactivity.  Although there has been some discussion of what could happen if they don’t approve it, DHS seems optimistic that it will get approved.  We are also still waiting for guidance from DDD regarding the additional funds they have found to help with wages.  More on this soon.

DDD Assistive Technology RFI

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) recently sought input from the community provider agencies regarding innovative strategies using Assistive Technology (AT).  Many promising proposals were received and DDD ultimately chose to fund 7 projects. We’re hopeful that the results of these projects will be able to be replicated across the system and, most importantly, positively support individuals with I/DD to live self-determined lives in their community.

The agencies and projects:

  • Avenues to Independence – Smart home technology, 4 CILAs
  • Community Support Systems – Smart home technology, 1 CILA
  • Kreider Services – SimplyHome remote support system, multiple sites/individuals
  • New Star Services – Smart phones with apps for scheduling/prompting and other functions
  • The Arc of the Quad Cities Area – Smart home technology
  • Trinity Services – Remote supports, 6 CILAs
  • UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago – Remote supports, Apps

 Although we shared this previously, above has a little more information about the types of programs funded.  DDD is also working on an evaluation/reporting effort so that we can all learn as a community about how to be able to utilize new technologies in the state.

Chicago Listening Session on the AbilityOne Program/Subminimum Wage, Nov 5, 4-6 pm

Nov 6, 10 am – Senate Human Services Committee Subject Matter Hearing on Supportive Housing Opportunities  (C600 Michael A. Bilandic Building 160 N. LaSalle St. Chicago, IL)

Chairperson Julie A. Morrison and the Senate Human Services Committee is hosting the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities and some of the advocates who participated in a trip to Missouri to understand how Missouri is encouraging the use of affordable supportive housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  You can fill out a witness slip in support of this effort and/or submit testimony about supportive housing.  Check it out here.

Hearing on Subminimum Wage, November 12, 3-5 pm

On November 12 from 3-5 pm in Springfield, Senators Morrison and Andy Manar will be holding a subject matter hearing on the issues around subminimum wage and the Land of Lincoln Good Will.  This will include testimony from Department staff and good will.  More details to follow!


Education: House Committee Approves Higher Education Act Reauthorization

On October 31, the House Committee on Education and Labor approved the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) by a vote of 28-22. This bill reauthorizes the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID), provides federal funding to states that provide free community college education, increases Pell grants, and makes various improvements to student loan programs, among other things. Additionally, it contains a provision requiring colleges to accept an individualized education plan or a 504 plan as evidence of a disability when a student is seeking accommodations. Learn more from the Committee on Education and Labor website. The Arc supports provisions of the bill that improve access for students with disabilities and promote the training and recruitment of teachers. For more information, see the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Education Task Force letter regarding the bill.

Family Support: Senate Committee Approves Life Respite Care Act Reauthorization

On October 31, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions approved the Lifespan Respite Care Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.995). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. The Arc supports this bill, which must next be approved by the full Senate.

Direct Support Professionals: Advocates Holds Congressional Briefing on DSP Workforce Crisis

On November 1, The Arc, as part of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, along with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, hosted a Congressional briefing titled “The Hidden Crisis of Care in the U.S. – Addressing the Homecare Workforce Shortage.” Honorary co-hosts were the Task Force on Aging and Families and the Office of Representative Pramila Jayapal. The briefing covered the shortages in the direct care workforce and the need for investment at the federal level to address it. Read testimony from the briefing from Nicole Jorwic, The Arc’s Senior Director for Public Policy, here.

Social Security/Income Support: Representatives Reintroduce SSI Restoration Act

On October 30, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and 9 co-sponsors reintroduced the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act of 2019 (S.2753). The bill would update and enhance the SSI program by updating the general earned income disregard to $123 per month, updating the earned income disregard to $399 per month, and updating the resource limits to $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a couple. Congress has not adjusted these limits in many years. In addition, the SSI Restoration Act would repeal SSI’s in-kind support and maintenance provisions as well as penalties for resource transfers, marriage, and state tax credits. The Arc strongly supports the SSI Restoration Act.


Health Care: Health Insurance Open Enrollment Continues Through December 15

Now is the time for individuals who are uninsured or are looking for affordable health insurance to investigate the private health insurance plans available through state marketplaces (to find your state information visit During open enrollment, a person can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace in each state. There may also be financial assistance to help with health care costs available to people with low and moderate incomes. It is also important for people who currently have insurance through the marketplace to look at the plan to determine if it will continue to meet their needs. Individuals who do not take action will be automatically re-enrolled in the current plan. Re-enrollment is also an important opportunity for people to report any changes in income.

Health/Rights: National Council on Disability Releases Report on Genetic Testing

The National Council on Disability (NCD) recently released “Genetic Testing and the Rush to Perfection,” the third report in a series on Bioethics and Disability. This report examines the range of scientific, commercial, professional, and social factors that converge around prenatal genetic testing and their effect on the lives of people with disabilities; and it provides an update on the interaction between genetic testing and employment discrimination.

Family Support: November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month. This month is dedicated to recognition of the vital role family caregivers play in the lives of people with disabilities and educates the public about the need for greater support. This year’s theme is #BeCareCurious. Family caregivers will be encouraged to ask more questions about care options for their loved ones. A presidential proclamation recognizing National Family Caregivers Month has been issued each year since 1997. President Trump’s 2019 Proclamation can be found here.

Transportation: Department of Transportation Hosts Access and Mobility for All Summit

On October 29, the Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted the Access and Mobility for All Summit. The summit provided an opportunity for the public to learn about DOT and government-wide efforts to improve access to transportation for people with disabilities, and for members of the public to provide input on new developments in transportation. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced several new initiatives, including Complete Trip Deployment solicitation, which provides $40 million to communities to promote independent mobility and $5 million in cash prizes for inclusive design of automated vehicles. Visit the Department of Transportation website to learn more.