Emails about early intervention while I was on vacation!

I was on vacation last week and had MANY emails about early intervention and billing in my inbox.  The most interesting one was from Chris Weis who states that he is a product manager for some billing software that is sold by the interim State Fiscal Agent for the NYS Early Intervention program.  It was my favorite email so I thought I would share my response that I copied to the EIP as well.  His initial email is in blockquote below.

For background, I will again mention that I think transparency is important and that is why I post this information.  This blog is not chock full of great ideas about treatment activities that kids love.  We provide that elsewhere on our Facebook and Pinterest sites - but this blog format is for communicating serious things.  This information is not for the faint of heart.  It is not intended to celebrate the wonderful job that providers do with children - but it does show how the system is currently threatened - and many families may not be aware.  Since these programs are municipally funded it is imperative that we all have awareness.

There is an underbelly to health care - and this is what it looks like.  This represents and demonstrates issues of how the NYS Early Intervention System has been disrupted with recent legislative and administrative rulemaking changes. 


Dear Mr. Weis,

I am very confused about why I am getting an email that seems to advertise your products.  Words like "a robust user-designed system that manages all facets of agencies and schools such as yourselves working with programs including EI, CPSE and CSE" would not need to be included if you were only wanting to share procedural information on billing through the EI program and acting as the interim State Fiscal Agent for the program.

As we receive MANY emails about the early intervention program each week, and as it has been challenging to sift through this very complex set of new requirements and processes, having email that seems to be simply advertising your products was very confusing.

It seems unlikely that it is appropriate to be using a list of BEI-approved service providers and agencies to troll for new business - if that is what is happening - it is rather confusing.  I have cc: the Early Intervention Program on this so they can comment in case they can help clear this up.

I am sure they have a lot that they could comment on.  Based on reports and posting from the United New York Early Intervention Providers Group on their Facebook page, they are stating that Brad Hutton the EI Director will consider writing letters of financial hardship for those providers who are still awaiting payments.  I attempted to verify this with the Bureau of EI directly and they transferred me to a line that they said they were told to direct people to who have such questions.  Surprisingly, it went to voicemail where they suggested that you just ask your questions in email.  It would seem to be such an important issue that they could answer directly, but these are odd times, so who knows?

I've been thinking that since the New York State Bureau of Early Intervention is being so helpful to service providers maybe we can order your products, and then have Mr. Hutton write you a letter to explain why we can't pay for it?

I understand that you sent information about YOUR ROBUST USER DESIGNED SYSTEM  how to manage these new systems because you have our best interests in mind.  Thank you very much for your consideration, and if by any small chance this was an attempt to procure new business can you please remove my email from your SPAM advertising lists and keep any communications to us related to your function as the interim State Fiscal Agent for the early intervention program?

And since I may have your attention I will just mention - any extra resources that your company could direct toward facilitating payments to providers and agencies would also be appreciated.  There is a whole lot of ugly out in the community right now when it comes to people needing payments for services they provided many months ago. 

I am just some random blog writing guy in Western NY, and people are emailing and calling my office asking me what they should do.  I try to direct people to the proper resources, but you know, what can I tell them when I know that they will just be sent to voicemail or that if they sign up for email lists that they might get spam advertising?

Thank you for your consideration.

Christopher J. Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR
ABC Therapeutics
11390 Transit Road
East Amherst, NY  14051
(716) 580-3040
(716) 580-3042 (fax)

ABC Therapeutics Website!
ABC Therapeutics Blog!
Like ABC Therapeutics on Facebook!

From: "Weis, Chris" <>
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 5:00 PM
Subject: FW: / Claims Integration Procedures

My name is Chris Weis and I am the product manager for the County-Linked Agency Information Management System (CLAIMS), a robust user-designed system that manages all facets of agencies and schools such as yourselves working with programs including EI, CPSE and CSE.

Recently we sent out the attached pdf file to all providers who are using our software as guidance as to what we, the CLAIMS team, recommend they do each day when they log into the  (edited, CJA).

We think that you could find most of the information useful, whether you use our software or not and so that is why we are forwarding this to you.  The only column that might be a little confusing is the “In CLAIMS…” column.  Specifically, this refers to the CLAIMS software that our clients use to manage their business, but you might still be able to adapt it to fit your system for the billing, payment downloads, tracking and such.

Chris Weis
Product Manager, CLAIMS
James McGuinness and Associates


Popular posts from this blog

When writing gives you the willies: Reconsidering 'tactile defensiveness'

Deconstructing the myth of clothing sensitivity as a 'sensory processing disorder'

On retained primitive reflexes