Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Back to School Checklist

Mental Health Parity Law Webinar

This video is specific to several California health plans and laws, but it also has some great info about mental health parity, coverage options, appeal tips, etc

GSPT Educational Program on Mental Health/Autism Parity Laws from Stephen W. Dale on Vimeo.

Graduation Guidance

Many of you have been asking about Indiana Diploma Decisions, the guide for teachers and families from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center, originally published in 2015. Because of the extent of the changes to the Certificate of Completion, graduation pathways, and diploma options, the guide was in need of an update, so you won’t find it among our resources on the INSTRC website. We’ve taken it down while INSTRC and DOE staff work on a new model.
It may takes us some time, so please be patient. In the meantime, we recognize that teachers and special education departments around the state need resources.  Here’s a compilation of information from DOE that may help.  Print and post!
We promise: You’ll be the first to know when Indiana Diploma Decisions is back online!

Graduation Pathways (includes link to High School Diploma resources):
Coffee Talk Video/Certification of Completion

Last week’s tip included a link to the “Transition IEP Requirements Checklist.”  We’ve revised that—we apologize for the confusion. The 2018-19 checklist includes two sub-questions under Question 6 (measurable goals) that were inadvertently left off the version we sent last week.  We’ve since updated the checklist online and in the version of the Tuesday’s Tip that’s posted on the website. Here’s the direct link: Transition IEP Requirements Checklist.

Legislative Update

Senate Bill on Pharmacy "Gag Clauses"
By a vote of 98-2, the Senate passed legislation to ban pharmacy "gag clauses," so that pharmacists are not prohibited from telling customers that they can save money on prescriptions by paying with cash instead of insurance. Such gag clauses are sometimes included in contracts between pharmacies and insurers or pharmacy benefit managers. President Trump had tweeted his support for the measure. See Senate Passes Massive Opioid Package, Bill To Ban Gag Clauses (Fierce Healthcare, 9/18/18). A similar bill was marked up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 7.
Bipartisan Senate Measure on "Surprise Medical Bills"
The Hill newspaper reports that a bipartisan group of Senators has developed a draft measure to crack down on surprise medical charges from providers outside an insurance plan's network. The bill would: prevent an out-of-network from charging additional costs for emergency services; require health care providers to give written notification to patients who receive emergency care at an out-of-network facility before they receive any follow-up non-emergency care; and prohibit charges from out-of-network doctors at an in-network hospital (such as an anesthesiologist or emergency physician). See Bipartisan Senators Unveil Proposal to Crack Down on Surprise Medical Bills (The Hill, 9/18/18).

Indiana Disability Rights Launches Supported Decision-Making Website

September 17, 2018
    By Dawn Adams, Executive Director
This past summer, Indiana Disability Rights had the privilege of representing Jamie Beck in terminating her guardianship in favor of using a supported decision-making agreement, a historic first for Indiana. This agreement allows Ms. Beck to make her own decisions about how she will live her life and provides documentation of specific individuals she has chosen to provide support in specific areas such as finance and medical decisions. But, at the end of the day, Jamie gets to make the final decision.
But what is Supported Decision-Making (SDM)? Just as wheelchairs can be used to accommodate people who need help with mobility, SDM is a way to accommodate the decision-making process for those who need some assistance. Think about the decisions you make in your everyday life: what to wear in the morning, where to eat lunch today, or whether or not you should buy a new car. You probably quickly decide on your own what you will wear each day. You may ask some co-workers for recommendations for a new lunch spot. But a new car is a bigger decision that will likely involve talking to a partner, friends, mechanic, or even going online to read reviews. In the last situation, you sought out “support” to help you make a decision.
Because guardianship is restrictive in nature and grants all decision-making power to the guardian, SDM is quickly being recognized as an alternative to guardianship. This does not mean that SDM is right for everyone. But in the many cases where it is appropriate, SDM can serve as both a tool for support and self-determination by recognizing and respecting a person’s ability to make their own decisions.
Indiana Disability Rights is proud to launch our website dedicated to providing trusted resources about SDM in Indiana for the public, legal practitioners, and individuals with disabilities. This website is in its infancy and as more resources are developed and vetted, they will be added to the site for open and free access to anyone who is eager to learn more.

Visit IDR's Supported Decision-Making Website Here

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New CCDF Policies for Clear Suspension & Expulsion Policies

New CCDF Policies Call for Clear Suspension and Expulsion Policies

This update focuses on ensuring that all CCDF-eligible programs in Indiana have clear policies regarding suspension and expulsion. These rule requirements aim to ensure positive social-emotional growth in all early education settings.

Requirements for all CCDF-Eligible Programs:
Early education programs that are eligible for CCDF vouchers must have a policy on suspension and expulsion. Programs must share policies before families enroll. Additionally, all programs should update families on their policies at this time.
These policies have to promote social-emotional growth. They need to include age-appropriate positive behavior supports. Programs also have to limit – or eliminate – any disciplinary approaches that focus on excluding children. That includes expulsion, suspension and other practices that remove children from learning.
Program policies must clearly define a process for managing challenging behaviors. For behaviors that cannot be managed using ordinary classroom strategies, clear steps must be defined.

 A child cannot be expelled for behavioral challenges unless those procedures have been followed.
Suspension and expulsion due to non-payment is a separate issue. It is not covered by this rule. 

Programs’ policies on suspension and expulsion will be checked in on by the state’s licensing system. Indiana’s licensing consultants regularly visit regulated programs. In any visit after October 1, 2018, programs are expected to be able to share their policy with consultants.

For programs: if there are any questions about creating a policy, the state has created supports. A guidance tool for programs has been developed to assist with the creation of a suspension and expulsion policy. The OECOSL Suspension and Expulsion Policy Guidance for Programs is posted on OECOSL’s website and here on the Brighter Futures Indiana’s website. Indiana’s local child care resource and referral agencies can also provide help on meeting this update.

Changes to CCDF

On October 1, 2018, Indiana will make a number of changes to the CCDF program. These updates are the result of new federal requirements. Many changes aim to make the program more family-friendly.

CCDF Eligibility:

In Indiana, CCDF eligibility is changing due to new federal rules. These rules focus on creating policies that support families and ensure consistent care. As a CCDF family, these rules may impact services and outreach you receive. Overall, they make CCDF a more family-friendly experience.
CCDF co-payments can’t go up during one eligibility period.

Your CCDF co-payments may not be raised during the eligibility period (53 weeks).

Example: A family gets a new job making more money. Even with the increased income, CCDF co-payments do not go up during that eligibility period. So, the current co-pay stays the same until re-determination.
Services do not stop immediately at age 13.

Children turning 13 years old during the eligibility period can stay on the CCDF program through the end of the eligibility period.

Example: A family is approved for CCDF in June. Their child turns 13 in February of the next year. Though 13 years is the normal cut-off age for CCDF, the child continues to receive services until the eligibility period ends. So, the child is not immediately removed from the program after turning 13.
Excessive absences can result in CCDF services ending.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning can stop services due to excessive absences. Services can be stopped after attempts to contact a family for excessive unexplained absences and 60 days of non-swipe activity.

Example: A child is not swiped into their CCDF provider for several weeks. The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning tries to contact the family. But the family does not respond. Then, the family can lose their CCDF services after 60 days.
Families changing their county of residence do not need to reapply.

If a family moves from one Indiana county to another within the eligibility period, the family does not need to reapply. They also do not need to have their eligibility re-determined. CCDF vouchers transfer to the new county and program when chosen.

Example: A family moves from Marion County to Hamilton County in November. They were determined eligible in June, prior to moving. To continue CCDF services, they reach out to their current intake agent or the intake agent in the new county to complete a county transfer.
Legally Licensed Exempt Providers (LLEP):

All programs must have documentation showing that they have met CCDF provider eligibility requirements. Additionally, these documents must be visible to parents. All legally licensed exempt providers (LLEPs), including registered ministries, schools, centers and homes, will receive a CCDF certificate. They should be displayed in their programs.

Example: A family attends an LLEP registered ministry. With this new rule, they can expect to see a certificate posted within their center. Prior to this new rule, LLEP providers did not have to post certificates.