RD435 - Report on Virginia’s Part C Early Intervention System July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 – November 15, 2016

Executive Summary:
Congress enacted early intervention legislation in 1986 as an amendment to the Education of Handicapped Children’s Act (1975) to ensure that all children with disabilities from birth through the age of three would receive appropriate early intervention services. This amendment formed Part H of the Act, which was re-authorized in 1991 and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When the IDEA was re-authorized in 1998, Part H became Part C of the Act. IDEA was reauthorized most recently in December 2004. Virginia has participated in the federal early intervention program, under IDEA, since its inception. In 1992, the Virginia General Assembly passed state legislation that codified an infrastructure for the early intervention system that supports shared responsibility for the development and implementation of the system among various agencies at the state and local levels. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), was designated and continues to serve as the State Lead Agency. The broad parameters for the Part C system are established at the state level to ensure implementation of federal Part C regulations. Within the context of these broad parameters, 40 local lead agencies manage services across Virginia.

In 2012, the General Assembly appropriated the state funds necessary to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for early intervention targeted case management from $120 per month to $132 per month for FY 2013, beginning July 1, 2012. In order to address a looming $8.5 million deficit in funding for early intervention due to significant increases in the number of children served and static federal funding, the General Assembly provided critical support for Virginia’s early intervention system in 2013 by allocating an additional $2.3 million in state general fund dollars for early intervention in FY 2013 and another $6 million for FY 2014. A total of $13.2 million was allocated for early intervention in FY 2015, and $14.8 million in FY 2016.

In FY2016, reported expenses exceeded reported revenue in the Part C early intervention system due to the following factors:

The number of children served in the Part C early intervention system increased by 4.8 percent from FY 2015 to FY 2016. At the same time, revenue from private insurance and TRICARE decreased by 16.3 percent, and local funds and the amount of other state general funds that local lead agencies opted to use to support Part C early intervention decreased by 1.6 percent.

• The current Early Intervention Targeted Case Management reimbursement rate of $132 per month does not cover the expenses of providing this service.

• Although some duplication of reporting was eliminated in FY2106, concerns about the completeness and accuracy of expense and revenue data and possible duplication of reporting remain since local lead agencies and private providers collect their data separately and there is no central mechanism to ensure reporting by all private providers or to ensure non-duplication.

To the maximum extent possible, the following narrative, charts and other graphics respond to the legislative requirements as delineated in Item 315.H2. The following data is based on revenue and expenditure reports received from the 40 local lead agencies and includes data from the private providers with whom the local lead agencies contract.