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Provider Accessibility Initiative

WHAT is the Provider Accessibility Initiative (PAI)?

IlliniCare Health is committed to providing equal access to quality health care and services that are physically and programmatically accessible for our members with disabilities and their companions. “Physical access,” also referred to as “architectural access,” refers to a person with a disability’s ability to access buildings, structures, and the environment. “Programmatic access” refers to a person with a disability’s ability to access goods, services, activities and equipment. The goal of the PAI is to increase the percentage of IlliniCare Health providers that meet minimum federal and state disability access standards by:

  1. Improving the accuracy, completeness, and transparency of provider self-reported disability access data in all products/all markets nationwide by integrating “minimum accessibility” standards into the provider application/credentialing and directory processes; and
  2. Providing participating providers in three pilot states with shared access to grant dollars through a Barrier Removal Fund (BRF). Providers that apply and are chosen for BRF awards will receive an on-site disability accessibility review completed by a local Center for Independent Living (CIL) and funding to remediate priority disability access barriers.


In 2018, the BRF will be administered in three pilot States: Illinois, Texas, and Ohio. The other component of the PAI (improving disability access data in provider directories) will be implemented in all Centene health plans nationwide starting in May 2018. IlliniCare Health is Centene Corporation’s health plan affiliate in Illinois.

WHO is responsible for administering the BRF?

  • IlliniCare Health is proud to partner with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on the administration of the BRF.
  • NCIL is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.
  • NCIL will provide technical assistance to IlliniCare Health and help them coordinate a local BRF Committee that will select BRF awardees.
  • NCIL will also coordinate with local Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to conduct the on-site accessibility reviews of BRF applicants, provide training, and distribute grants to BRF awardees to remediate priority disability access barriers identified by the local BRF Committee.

WHY are the PAI and BRF important?

  • It's the right thing to do. Studies have shown that Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities receive less preventive care due to inaccessible exam rooms and/or diagnostic equipment; The PAI and BRF demonstrate IlliniCare Health’s position as a pioneer in partnering with our providers and disability advocates to solve a vital problem and key social determinants of health for our members with disabilities and their companions.
  • In addition, federal laws and regulations require that MCO providers have disability access and that MCO provider directories include a complete and accurate description of provider disability access.
  • IlliniCare Health believes we have a responsibility and an obligation to support the participating providers in our network in becoming more accessible through a designated corporate funding source designed to address one of the primary barriers to disability compliance, namely a lack of financial resources, so that our members with disabilities and their companions will have better access and quality of care.
  • The PAI, a recommendation of the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, demonstrates that IlliniCare Health is actively working toward a health care delivery system that is fully usable by, and accessible to, our members with disabilities and their companions; a health care system based on the aspirational principle of “universal access for all.”


Participating providers that see IlliniCare Health members at a physical group practice/ clinic/service location are eligible to apply. Non-participating providers with single case agreements or other contracts are not eligible.

Completion and submission of the self-reported Illinois Accessibility Form, which was mailed on 2/28/2018, is also a requirement of eligibility to receive a BRF Award.

What Steps Should Providers Take?

Date Steps


RFP Posted


RFP Deadline

4/9/2018 – 5/30/2018

Review of Applications (including Accessibility Site Reviews of some or all applicants who responded to the RFP and submitted the self-reported Illinois Accessibility Form.


Award Notices Sent Out


BRF Standard Grant Agreements Due

7/2/2018 – 7/6/2018

Grant Awards Released


Grant Funds Must Be Spent

8/24/2018 – 9/14/2018

Post-Grant Accessibility Site Review

Have Questions/Need Technical Assistance? 

If you have any questions about filling out the BRF RFP, please reach out to Tim Fuchs at NCIL at Tim can also be reached by phone at 202-207-0334 or toll-free at 844-778-7961.

If you have any questions about the Illinois Accessibility Form, please reach out to