Group seeks investigation, claims state agency would violate federal law

Group seeks investigation, claims state agency would violate federal law

UPDATED 5:55 p.m. Wednesday

WASHINGTON — A national organization is calling on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to investigate the action being taken in Illinois that will short agencies serving people with developmental disabilities for one month of services provided in the current fiscal year ending June 30.

"Not only is such action morally unacceptable, we assert that it is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court Olmstead Decision, as well as federal law and regulation governing the Medicaid program," states a June 20 letter to Sebelius from the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors.

Here is a link to a copy of the letter to Sebelius.

The organization is calling for the investigation in response to a June 18 letter sent to agencies by Kevin Casey, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities at the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The letter states Illinois can't pay for one month of services in the current fiscal year for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities, therapies, equipment, training and individual support services advocacy, and will be deferring payments and services into the new year after the new budget is finalized.

Providers were also warned to expect ongoing delays in payment at the comptroller's office.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said she will prioritize payments for programs serving the developmentally disabled starting immediately in the new fiscal year, but warned the unpaid bills to hospitals, businesses, schools and service agencies awaiting payment at

Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, said Wednesday night the department is committed to serving people with developmental disabilities.

"The fact that the Department of Human Services'  FY12 budget is insufficient does not break any laws as indicated by the NACBHDD," she said. "The lack of funds will result in slight payment delays, not reductions to vital services," she said.

Smith also said payments will be processed in 11 days when the state's new fiscal year begins and providers are encouraged to maintain vital services without interruption for the rest of this fiscal year.

 For more, see The News-Gazette Thursday.

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rsp wrote on June 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

"Providers are encouraged to continue to provide these vital services through the remainder of the fiscal year without interruption."

And how exactly are they supposed to do that? Refer all of their employees to the food bank instead of paying them? Is she getting paid this month?

illini_trucker wrote on June 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Wow.. I think my financial policy would change to: all Medicaid recipient appointments are prepaid by cash only until further notice. 

billbtri5 wrote on June 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

I am going to give serious thought to voting for any incumbent for State office...not one of which has had the courage to stand up and say "we have too much government"...

pennythoughts wrote on June 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

Unfortunately, in fact, the elected officials in our state have heard your small government message loud and clear.  It's just that, what the government does is provide services to people with developmental disabilities and other marginalized groups (like children and victims of crime).  I think this is a classic situation of be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

The problem is that they are willing to go to such great lengths to shrink our government that they don't want to pay for services rendered and services that our laws say people are entitled to.

bluegrass wrote on June 21, 2012 at 11:06 am


Bill, if you're saying we don't have any incumbent state reps or senators saying "we have too much government" you're not paying attention.

Maybe you live in a Frerichs/Jacobsson district, in which case your comment would be correct, for you.....


yates wrote on June 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Be careful here. Old Kathleen may just decide to abort these people instead deal with them. Worked well for her in Kansas I've read.