January 26, 2018 Update

Both chambers of the General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 30th for the start of the 2018 Spring Session.  On Wednesday, the Governor will deliver the final State of the State Address of his first term.   The Governor is expected to use this speech to highlight the achievements of his term and outline his policy priorities for the coming year.
Please note key upcoming session deadlines.  The bill drafting deadline for both chambers is February 2nd.  The deadline to file substantive legislation in both chambers is February 16th.  Both chambers will be hearing legislation at the committee level starting next week.
This week, the Illinois Comptroller released the State’s first Debt Transparency Report.  The report is the product of a new law that is designed to provide a detailed monthly snapshot of the state’s bill back log.  The new law requires state agencies to report liabilities they are holding at the agency level, including late payment interest penalties and unappropriated liabilities and obligations. According to the report, there is an estimated $9.246 billion General Funds bill backlog as of December 31, 2017.  The report highlights that there are $2.3 billion in unappropriated liabilities being held at state agencies. The agencies with the largest unappropriated liabilities include the Department of Corrections, which has $420 million in unappropriated liabilities, and the Department of Human Services, which has $118 million in unappropriated liabilities. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has a $443 million shortage in General Revenue Funds transfers to be deposited in the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund for medical programs administered by HFS.
Governor Rauner issued Executive Order 01-18 which bars lawmakers from arguing cases in front of the Illinois State Tax Appeals Board. The Tax Appeals Board is charged with hearing appeals of assessment decisions made in the state’s 102 counties.  When issuing the order, Rauner called the practice “a clear conflict of interest”.  The order takes effect immediately.
Representative Wojcicki Jimenez introduced a resolution this week, HR763, to amend the House Rules to require committee and task force hearings to be held in Springfield, the Bilandic Building in Chicago or another location authorized by the Speaker as long as that venue has video conferencing capability for members and witnesses.
In May of 2017, the Illinois House approved HR 100 which directed the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).  The audit was directed to include a comparison of State expenditures between MCOs and the Medicaid fee for service program for FY 16. This week, the Office of the Auditor General released their findings of the audit directed by HR 100.  According to the findings, auditors determined the HFS did not maintain the complete and accurate information necessary to appropriately monitor the $7.11 billion in payments made to and by the 12 MCOs during FY 16.
Specifically, HFS could not provide auditors with the following information:
  • all paid claims to Medicaid providers by the MCOs in FY16;
  • Medicaid provider claims denied by MCOs in FY16;
  • the administrative costs incurred by MCOs in FY16;
  • the coordinated care costs incurred by MCOs in FY16; and
  • Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) calculations since calendar year 2012.
  • In FY16, HFS made multiple monthly capitation payments to MCOs for the same months for the same individuals totaling $590,237.
The audit recommends HFS should:
1)      monitor the actual administrative costs incurred by its MCOs to ensure that the administrative costs do not exceed what is allowed by contract;
2)      calculate the Medical Loss Ratios for the previous four calendar years (2013 through 2016), and determine whether the State should be reimbursed by MCOs due to overpayment;
3)      require all MCOs to submit all Medicaid provider payment data for all services (including DASA, LTC, and waiver services), and perform on-site reviews of the MCOs’ financial data systems and test the completeness and accuracy of the data reported to HFS that is used to monitor the payments made to Medicaid providers;
4)      provide clear guidance to the MCOs for reporting denied claims, and ensure that MCOs provide the denied claims to HFS as required by contract;
5)      ensure multiple monthly capitation payments are not being made for the same Medicaid recipients, immediately identify and remove all duplicative recipients from its eligibility data, and recoup any overpayment of duplicate capitation payments; and
6)      ensure that it effectively monitors the newly awarded MCO contracts to ensure compliance with all contractual provisions.
Senate Democratic Leader Donne Trotter announced his retirement from the Senate late last Friday afternoon.  A replacement has not been named at this time.
The House Personnel and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on January 30th at 3:30 pm in Room 122B of the Capital to discuss the state’s pension obligations.
2018 Key Session Dates:
January 31: Governor’s State of the State Address
February 2:  LRB Deadline, both chambers
February 14: Governor’s Budget Address
February 16:  Bill Introduction Deadline, both chambers
March 20: Primary Election
April 13:  Committee Deadline, both chambers
April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11:  Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment