Chairman Roberts introduced Doug Morton, Manager, Strategic Management Unit, Department of Human Services, who was invited to come and talk to committee as representative of DHS and explain Application of rules and DHS certification process to further understand the term just standards for a rehab facility.
Doug reported that the Division of Rehab services doesn’t really have a category called Just Standards. We have a process to approve vendors. Someone who meets our standards would also appropriately meet State Use standards. If there a workshop that we were not familiar with, we would survey them and work to get them approved with Department of Rehab Services. We have contracts with most of the workshops I see on your list and I would assume some approval process was done on all of these some point. Our rules for providers are that they have some accreditation from another organization such as CARF. A new organization can have provisional approval for two years and they have to have accreditation after that time. We have waived accreditation couple times in recent years and that practice is under review and we will probably discontinue on July 1.
Chairman Roberts called for questions and comments from the Committee.
Member Bryson stated that when this program was first getting started, and the sheltered workshop directors were active in this process, people wanted to insure that the sheltered workshops were eligible for this particular act. They had to meet certain standards. CARF accreditation was one tool used to help define who was eligible for the Act. Over the years, CARF has become less of criteria for certification and we have moved away from it.
Doug replied that in our rules, if you are accredited, then you meet our standards. We determine that if there was someone that wanted to be in State Use, we would survey them. It can be worked out if there was a situation where there was a provider that wants to be part of SU one of our surveyors can work with that organization. There is nothing in the DHS rules to accredit State Use. There could have been something before DHS was formed 15 years ago. State Use goes back further than that.
Member Gloede stated that we should have meaningful standards and accreditation to insure the integrity of the organization. I am concerned about how this process works. We don’t want someone coming in without proper credentials.
Doug replied that our division accepts certification from National Associations such as CARF. There is a list of National accreditations we accept. There are not that many organizations that do the national accreditation. It is sort of a substitute of the State going out and surveying. It is something we are comfortable with. .It is the only tool we have in our arsenal to work with.
Chairman Roberts asked him to provide that list to the committee.
Member Strick commented that there are three criteria to be certified as State Use. 1) Must be Not for Profit. 2) Must be certified with Department of Labor as sheltered workshop. 3) Must meet the just standards of Department of Human Services.
Member Bryson stated that we are not trying to change anything; we just want to accurately reflect the regulations of DHS.
Will move to next item which is the 2012 Annual Report. Corrie stated that it is still with Alta in Chicago waiting on her approval and will then be delivered to Committee.
Chairman Roberts introduced Joe Kim, CPO of the Executive Ethics Commission. One of Joe’s roles is to insure EEC works together with us to define certain categories for State Use vendors.
Dan Strick and Corrie worked out categories that our workshops would fit into and where preferences could be defined. Member Strick said that basically what they did was work from a list of categories and matched them up with CMS class codes. We matched up what SU is doing now. It is a work in progress to come up categories for CPO list. We can share when that is appropriate
Chairman Roberts said that we want to work with EEC to provide common categories and services that State Use provides and work them to compile a list insuring that we define that area as required by law.
Kim introduced Ben Bagby CPO for higher education. Ben Bagby stated that he is having a meeting in Champaign the second week of March. It will mostly be about reorganization of staff, but he plans on presenting information about the State Use Program and expects movement to come of that.
Chairman Roberts reiterated that the primary CPO’s we are targeting are higher education and general services. We will distribute a draft of list of categories to Kim and Bagby as well as the committee to have input. Draft list will be sent to CPO and committee.
Chairman Roberts reported that Director Weems has given his approval to have a State Use Exposition for the southern region. Last one was in Chicago in October and there was interest to do one downstate in the spring. It was decided that May 30th would be a good date. Corrie was directed to set up the meeting. Joe Kim stated that he and Ben Bagby would have a table there also. Member Strick suggested that it be in a location that the state employees can get to easily and not be a hardship. Corrie Smith suggested IDOT in Springfield.