Earlier this week I noticed a large uptick in Google searches regarding early intervention that were landing on this blog so I started wondering what was going on. Turns out that there was a NYS Association of Counties meeting this week and the Department of Health gave a powerpoint presentation about the Governor's proposal. Copies of the powerpoint started to make their way around the State - and that got people doing some Internet searches for more information. Here is a link to the presentation for those who have not been able to see it yet.
The powerpoint doesn't offer information that is materially different than what is already listed in the proposed budget but it is in a more readable format.
The largest issues proposed include:
1. Providers will be approved through the Department of Health and won't have contracts with local municipalities.
2. There must be an arms length relationship between service coordinators, evaluators, and service providers.
3. Providers will be required to establish and maintain contracts or agreements with a sufficient number of insurers, including Medicaid and CHP.
4. Providers will have to use the State's Fiscal Agent to bill third party payors.
5. All of this will be achieved by a mandate on insurance companies requiring them to coordinate through the State Fiscal Agent to pay for EI services.
Details that are still a little unclear include how the rate will be negotiated. Currently, there is no alignment between EI rates paid by municipalities, rates paid by insurance companies, and the Medicaid rates. It is unclear whether or not the rates will change based on the information released so far. The current plan calls for providers to continue providing services whether or not they have been reimbursed - so there will need to be some clarity so providers understand the rule systems they are being asked to operate under for reimbursement.
It is likely that this will drive some providers out of the system and that will likely create delays in service provision. That means that private therapies, at least for families that have those resources, will likely replace the EI system as the de facto methodology for children receiving services. It is another form of indirect cost sharing, and is probably intentional.
Stay tuned for ongoing analysis.