The fantastic news is that the Illinois Opioid Alternative Pilot Program launched on time on January 31, 2019…well sort of, as it was supposed to start on December 1, 2018. The delay was in the technical side; it was quite a task to come up with software that worked for both the MCPP and the OAPP. By all accounts, it was worth the wait…at least for all the prospective patients who applied online after 12/01/18. There does seem to be a lot of confusion about pending paper applications, accessing provisional cards online and negotiating password problems. The goal of this post is explain where everything stands and how to best access the system.
Illinois Representative Kelly Cassidy was kind enough to speak with the Illinois Department of Public Health staff (IDPH) who explained the current state of the application process for the OAPP and MCPP. The online system was created to streamline the process for both programs, which it has done successfully. Unfortunately for those who applied via paper applications, the staff is tasked with manually entering and scanning the information into the system to begin the process. The bad news is that as of this writing, the small staff at the IDPH who are processing paper applications are about halfway through all of those submitted in November. To compound the problem, 2200 MCPP applications were submitted between December 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 which was a much larger number than expected. At the current processing rate, those who applied via paper will be waiting for a very long time.
The best way to rectify the situation is for all those who applied via paper between 12/01/18 and 1/31/19 to reapply through the online system and to pay with a credit card. The IDPH staff will check the paper applications against the online ones to make sure there is no duplication before they process the payments. They will destroy or return the check or money order for any duplicated applications.
The IDPH staff has agreed that more visible language on paper applications and on the website is necessary to advise patients that using the online system is the fastest way to gain access to provisional cards. They also agreed to increase outreach efforts to explain the online system to patients and providers.
Here are some FAQs:
1. If I apply online again for the provisional card, will I need to get and submit another doctor’s certification?
- Yes. You will need to upload your doctor’s certificate. If you made a copy and/or your doctor made a copy and can email it to you, you can move forward with the application. If not, you must request another certificate from your doctor.
2. I applied online over 24 hours ago and still have not received my email regarding my temporary card. Did I do something wrong?
- The system was set up so that an email was generated, but that function is not working. Log into your account and scroll to the bottom of the page. You should see a link for your provisional card.
3. I am receiving the following message, “You are currently on hold with the Department of Health, you may not start an additional application.” What should I do?
- A period of 11 hours was mentioned, after which the message should disappear. If this is incorrect, please feel free to post a comment with a correction. Your fellow patients will appreciate it.
4. I applied several months ago and my payment was processed but my application still has not been approved. Should I reapply online?
- If you apply again online, you will NOT get a refund, according to the staff at IDPH!
I have seen comments from patients who had problems resetting their new password after receiving a temporary password. They were actually locked out of the system and were unable to access their provisional cards online. Apparently, the system was created to make the passwords difficult to access by anyone other than the patient. Unfortunately, it has created problems for patients. If you can update this information with a solution for your fellow patients, it would be much appreciated.