PHI-Midwest pursues its quality care through quality jobs approach in Illinois by building relationships with key stakeholders in long-term services and supports, workforce development, and anti-poverty to advance opportunities for change. PHI's priorities in the region are focused in the following areas:

Raising Awareness About the Illinois Direct-Care Workforce

PHI is a resource on the direct-care workforce, drawing attention to opportunities to improve its status. We are currently developing a fact sheet focused on the size and growth of this workforce across the state, to be distributed to draw attention to the workforce, and used as a platform to discuss emerging needs and opportunities.

Advancing a Sectoral Workforce Development Strategy

PHI has been instrumental in articulating a Build Ladders and Raise the Floor framework for workforce development that recognizes the need to improve the low-quality, high demand jobs, while at the same time providing opportunities and pathways for individuals to grow in their jobs. We seek to address workforce challenges in ways that benefit providers, workers, and consumers.

Raising awareness of the need for this approach in both the workforce development and LTSS communities in Chicago will lead to investments and efforts to improve wages, training, and career advancement opportunities for this workforce.

Improving Training Standards and Opportunities

In our discussions with various stakeholders and a review of the current training requirements for home care workers, we have identified a need to establish consistent training standards and competencies for these workers – whether agency-based or consumer-directed. PHI’s approach is collaborative, seeking first to bring together stakeholders to build local consensus, then building capacity to deliver high-quality training for home care workers.

This need is particularly relevant as Illinois nine existing home and community based services waivers into one program through an 1115 waiver.

Informing Health Service Delivery Redesign and Managed Long Term Care Services

The State’s goal of enrolling 50% of its Medicaid population in care coordination, including managed care, by 2015 creates new opportunities to partner with managed care organizations (MCO) to improve contributions of this workforce and establish workforce measures as part of their quality indicators.

Measures on workforce size, stability and compensation for providers within managed care networks can help MCOs understand their networks ability to support participants and capacity for growth. Strengthen training for new, specialized and advanced roles for the workforce in monitoring chronic conditions as a part of care coordination team.

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