Monday, May 23, 2016

Distance Therapy via First Steps

First Steps acknowledges that there are instances in which services may best be provided through distance therapy. Delivery of service may include strategies such as teletherapy, which involve the use of technology to bring the child, parent and provider together during the delivery of services. Use of distance service provisions must be based on the needs of the child and family.

Prior to the delivery of such services, the following steps must be followed: 
1. Distance therapy may only be authorized when it is in the best interest of the family to do so. 
2. The service provider should be experienced and comfortable with the delivery of service through technology via secure encryption method. 
3. A prior authorization must be obtained from the State before beginning this mode of therapy. 
4. Distance service provisions, should be written into the IFSP as a possible strategy and include the manner in which the service should be provided. 
5. When using web communication, the family must have computer/internet access in the home. The parent and provider must know how to use the equipment prior to the first therapy session. The team should address potential technical problems, prior to starting the service. While no additional fees may be billed to the family, providers may provide additional hardware or software to the family. Any agreement to use such equipment will be the responsibility of the provider. 
6. The parent or caregiver must be present and involved throughout the therapy session. 
7. Billing for distance therapy is to be billed at the on-site rate for the provider’s specialty. 
8 Just as with direct person to person therapy, the provider must provide direct attention to the service being delivered and may not engage in outside unrelated activities during the session. 
9. Services must be provided in a private/confidential location, via a secure encrypted internet site, to protect the privacy of the family. 
10. A Face-to-Face Sheet must be completed and mailed to the parent/caregiver participating in the therapy session, within 2 business days of the service. If the caregiver participating in the therapy session is not the child’s parent, a copy of the face to face form must also be sent to the parent. The provider must list the mode of therapy (ex. Teletherapy) in the parent signature line. 
All other components of the Face to Face sheet must also be completed, including the time the session started and ended. With approval of the parent, copies of the face to face sheet may be emailed to the parent in lieu of mailing through the U.S. postal service. 

Note: This method of service will be held to the same billing audit standard as traditional billing audits conducted by/through the State. The family will need to have a signed release at the SPOE authorizing the provider to list

Official notice found here:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Info for Individuals with Disabilities Accessing the ACA

from NDNRC:

Consumers need to make sure they are asking the right questions about the plans being offered in order to make an informed choice. This new video series is based on our population specific fact sheets and are as follows: 
The first round of Jeopardy videos which we released last year can also be viewed with the following links:
All the videos can also be accessed on our YouTube channel by clicking here and individual links are also on our "Webinars/Presentations" page here.

Share Your Voice: Interim Committees and Rulemaking Comment Periods

from Indiana Assn of United Ways:

Legislative Study Committees on the CalendarState Capitol
During the legislative session many interim study committee topics are recommended by the General Assembly. These committees provide legislators with more information on certain topics such as redistricting, immigration and more.  The meetings allow experts in the field and state agencies to share information about the current state of certain issues in Indiana.  Upcoming committee meetings include: 
Check the interim committee calendar for updates.  See our quick summary of recommended, required and established study topics.

Weigh in on issues important to you!
Submitting comments during rulemaking periods is an important way to shape policy. State and federal agencies appreciate specific comments about possible impacts and ways to improve proposed rules. Below are a few open comment periods:
  • State Board of Dentistry -will hold a hearing on 6/10/16 at 9:15 to discuss proposed rule about requirements for prescribing opioids for pain management. See LSA #15-378.
  • FSSA, Office of Medicaid -will modify Medicaid reimbursement rule for covered inpatient hospital services. See LSA # 15-418. Hearing on 6/13/16 at 9am.
  • FSSA, Division of Mental Health and Addictions - related to minimum standards for opioid addiction treatment programs. See LSA #16-1, or proposed rule. Deadline: 6/30/16.
  • State School Bus Committee, DOE, will hold a hearing on rules related to child alert systems, contents of first aid kits and optional rear stop arms. See LSA #15-426. Hearing on 9/6/16 at 9am.

First Steps Interagency Coordinating Council on Infants and Toddlers

Indiana's Interagency Coordinating Council on Infants and Toddlers (ICC), which was first convened in 1987, is appointed by the Governor to advise and assist the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) (the Lead Agency) in its responsibilities.Indiana Administrative Code then transferred these responsibilities to the Bureau of Child Development Services (BCDS) within DDRS. At least one-fifth of the ICC members are parents of children 12 years old or younger with disabilities or developmental delays. Other members include state agency groups, public and private early intervention service providers, legislators, pre-service professionals, and others. The ICC is committed to holding the vision of First Steps Early Intervention Services in Indiana and to keeping abreast of issues, concerns and trends that may affect First Steps in the future.
If you know a parent of a child (12 years old or younger) with disabilities or developmental delays that would be interested in serving on the ICC, please forward on the following information and encourage them to apply here.
Meeting Dates:
All meetings are held at Easter Seals Crossroads: 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis, IN and the public is encouraged to attend. Please contact Michael Conn-Power at least two weeks prior to the meeting date if special accommodations or interpretative services are required.
2016 Meeting Dates:
  • January 13, 2016
  • March 16, 2016
  • May, 18, 2016
  • August 17, 2016
  • November 16, 2016
The Family Voices Indiana Leadership Development Fund can support a parent to attend these meetings. For more information, contact 317 944 8982

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Comments on Ban of ESD devices due May 25

TO: AUCD network
FROM: Kim Musheno, Director of Public Policy

As you may know, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to ban electrical stimulation devices (ESD) used to treat aggressive or self-injurious behavior. FDA has determined that these devices present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury that cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling. FDA is proposing to include in this ban both new devices and devices already in distribution and use.

AUCD encourages its members to send in separate comments.  The more the better.  It would be great to receive comments from individuals, family members, physicians, psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, behavioral and other experts, not just national organizations.
To submit a comment:
1. Go to  the Federal eRulemaking Portal at
2. Enter the docket number  FDA-2016-N-1111
3. Follow the instructions to submit a comment.
4. You may also submit written public comment by mail to:
The Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration; 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061; Rockville, MD 20852.

Comments are due on May 25, 2016.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Family Voices Looking for Disaster Survival Stories: Chance to Win $100

Have you and your child experienced an emergency or disaster such as a

hurricane, tornado, flood, etc? Family Voices would love to hear your story and

share it with other families of children and youth with special health care needs.

Make a short (1 ½ -3 minutes) video-clip and submit it by May 31, 2016. We’ll

select up to 10 of the best videos and award $100 for each, and will share the

videos on our Family Voices websites, and the American Academy of Pediatrics’

websites. For more information including FAQs covering technical details, go to:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunny Start Fact Sheets Have Been Updated!

The Indiana State Department of Health’s Sunny Start: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds initiative is a comprehensive, collaborative, statewide effort to implement a strategic plan to support a coordinated system of resources and supports for young children from birth through age five and their families.

Sunny Start, in collaboration with Family Voices Indiana, has updated a series of financial fact sheets to aid families in locating and understanding important resources to assist them and their children, including those with special healthcare needs. These fact sheets are an overview of state and federal programs that support the health and well-being of children. They include eligibility guidelines when applicable, and link the family or professional with the appropriate agency.

Families and professionals find these fact sheets to be easily understood and a reliable source of information. The recent update assures that they include any recent changes to these programs.

We invite you to utilize these fact sheets in your home, medical practice, agency, or community. You can find the English fact sheets here. 

Professionally translated Spanish fact sheets and NEW fact sheets about Transition to Adulthood are coming soon!