Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Cost Participation and Redesign...again

Now nobody panic because I haven't heard anything definite, but the mumblings are now that FCP is slated to kick in on 11-1-10, and DDD redesign (aka the team based approach) may be starting in early 2011. Here is the letter that I think went out to families or may be going out soon.
The family letter:
This notice is to inform you about an upcoming change in how the Division of Developmental
Disabilities (DDD) provides early intervention services to children birth to three with developmental
delays and developmental disabilities. The changes emphasize working together as a team, increasing
access to services and making birth to three services more coordinated for families.
DDD, under the umbrella of the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP), provides early
intervention services to eligible children, birth to three, and their families. In the early intervention
program, families and professionals work together to support and enhance children’s growth,
development, and learning in their natural environment. In addition to the increased coordination and
access to services, this change will also enhance the Department of Economic Security’s ability to
provide timely services as required by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.)

For the past few years, the Department of Economic Security’s early intervention programs, DES/AzEIP
and DDD, have been working to ensure that Arizona’s children and families receive needed services and
supports in ways that are most beneficial to them. At community forums held statewide, families,
providers and other interested stakeholders shared their thoughts about the early intervention program.
A plan for “redesign” was drafted and families and professionals were invited to review and comment.
Based on their input, AzEIP implemented a new “team-based service” model in 2008 for those families
served by contractors of DES/AzEIP (not eligible for DDD).

In early 2011, DDD will begin implementing early intervention services with this team-based
model. The goal is to improve the way in which families and children receive supports and
significantly expand access to early intervention services.

Early intervention services provided by a team means that each team will have the capacity to provide
occupational, physical and speech therapies, developmental special instruction, social work and
psychology services. A family and their “team” will decide which provider will be the family’s “team
lead” to coordinate with other team members. By having each professional working as part of the same
team, the family will have the benefit of their combined expertise. Support coordination services will
continue to be provided by DDD.

When the new service model is implemented it may mean some changes in who provides services.
There will be opportunities to ask questions and learn about the changes through both a comment period
on the Qualified Vendor application and informational sessions to provide more specifics on how the
team based model will operate and guidance on transition to the new model.
DDD looks forward to continuing its commitment to working with you, your family, and your child.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Family Cost Participation- Delayed!


The Department of Economic Security (DES), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is delaying the implementation of its new Family Cost Participation program for recipients of early intervention services.  Families were to begin sharing in the cost of their early intervention services effective March 1, 2010.  The program is being delayed a minimum of 60 days.  As a result, families who have been determined responsible to share in the cost of their services will not be charged for their current array of services until May 1, 2010 at the earliest.  To clarify, that means they will not participate in the cost of their family's services for the months of March and April but may be expected to share in the cost of services that are provided beginning May 1st.  Families will be notified of the new program standards prior to implementation.  Families whose children are Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) eligible will continue to be excluded from the Division's Family Cost Participation program.  The Department is using this time period to further evaluate program parameters, including income standards, and operating procedures.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  If you have questions, please contact 602-364-1379 or e-mail your question and phone number to DDDHotline@azdes. gov.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Budget is the top issue down at the Capitol, and Family Cost Participation fees are the talk of the AzEIP system. 
First the Budget:
To recap, last year AzEIP received an additional $9 million from the federal government through the stimulus program, in addition, providers received a 10% rate cut and the state began preparing to collect fees from families with a Family Cost Participation plan.  Families with children enrolled in the DDD-state only part of AzEIP will begin to receive bills in April for services received in March.  Families with children enrolled in the AzEIP-only portion of AzEIP will receive letters in the coming weeks informing them that they will receive bills for their Early Intervention services.  The Governor proposed her Budget and the Joint Legislative Budget Commission prepared a menu of options for the budget.   Now is the time when people take a closer look and begin to talk about what may be cut, what new revenues will be raised and what programs will remain intact.  There are a number of options on the table, they include additional rate cuts to providers--we already have a provider shortage in Arizona; Another option is to increase the number of families in the Family Cost Participation program by expanding it to include those enrolled in ALTCS (birth to three and above); and, Another option on the table is to stop providing early intervention services. 
It is important that families speak up now!  Please, call, write and/or email your legislators and the Governor (to find your legislator go here: http://www.azleg. gov/ for the Governor go here: http://www.azgovern Enclose a picture of your child and tell them what the AzEIP system has meant for your child and family.  Ask your family and neighbors to do the same.  Remind the Governor and the Legislature that AzEIP has seen a 19% increase from 2005 to 2009 in the children served each year.  Tell them that providing services and supports to infants and toddlers early and as soon as possible means significant long-term savings as children are more ready to learn when they leave AzEIP.  Tell them that AzEIP has data that proves that children benefit from these services and supports!  Tell them your story and most important tell them that they must continue to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities without any further cuts or fees.  Tell them that infants and toddlers cannot make up for lost time--two or five years from now when the state is in better shape financially will be too late, and will mean higher costs for the state down the road.  If you are concerned about your ability to pay the Family Cost Participation fee, by all means include this in your letter, tell them how much your family will be responsible for and how that will impact your family.  Ask your providers if they are sharing this kind of information with other families--tell them to have families join the listserve: ArizonaEarlyInterve ntionParents_ Caregivers@ yahoogroups. com to stay informed. 
 Second the Family Cost Participation:
If you do not believe you can afford the monthly bills--DO NOT WITHDRAW from AzEIP--please contact your Support Coordinator, you can appeal the decision and provide additional information explaining why you believe you cannot afford the fee, you can also hold an IFSP Team meeting to discuss how you might change your IFSP but still achieve your outcomes for your child.  If you do decide to make changes to your IFSP in an effort to reduce your Family Cost Participation fee keep in mind that you should be meeting with your IFSP team (Service/Support Coordinators, all therapists, and anyone else you feel would be helpful as you work this through)--you can meet in person or have some members teleconferenced; as a last resort you can keep your service coordination- only services.  Please remember that certain services are NOT subject to the fee:  Support Coordination services, IFSP Team Meetings (this includes the time for ALL members of your team to participate) , Assessments/ Evaluations.  If you have concerns or questions please call your Support Coordinator, if they cannot assist you or you still have questions call their Supervisor, call the DDD hotline (602) 364-1379 or the AzEIP office (602) 532-9960.  Remember you can also call the Parent Training and Information Centers (Raising Special Kids or Pilot Parents) or disability-specific Advocacy programs (like Sharing Down Syndrome, EVAN, and the Autism Coalition).  
-Letter I received from the ArizonaEarlyInterventionParents_Caregivers mailing list.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Family Cost Participation

From the DES website here:
"Effective March 1, 2010 the Division will implement a family cost participation program for early intervention services.  The Department of Economic Security Arizona Early Intervention  Program (AzEIP) is authorized by Federal law (20 U.S.C. §1432(4) (B); 34 C.F.R. §§303.520 and -.521) and Arizona law (ARS 36-562(G)) to require parents/responsible parties to pay for a  percentage of their child’s services. Children who are Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) eligible are excluded from this program. The amount a family may have to pay will be based on  adjusted gross income over 200% of the Federal poverty level, family size and the costs paid by the State for the services their child receives.

If you have questions, please contact (602) 364-1379 or email your question and phone number to "

Hopefully this isn't new news to anyone- most of the families that I know of have already received their letters. I keep hearing that support coordinators should be getting in touch with families in order to determine what their payment would be each month and adjust the IFSP accordingly if families will be unable to pay for services. I did see that families could apply for a hardship waiver of fees but I don't know how that works or what the chances of getting a waiver would be.

E-mail, write, and call your legislators.