FY 20-21 EI Program Cost Containment Strategies Updated 8/12/2020 at 1:40 PM

  • Announcements and Resources UPDATED 8/12/2020
    Access the Informed Opinion of Delay Technical Assistance Document here 8/12/20

    Access Recordings from EI Colorado Public Meetings on Cost Containment Strategies FY 20-21 8/3/2020
    • Public Meeting held on Monday July 27, 2020 access here
    • Public Meeting held on Tuesday July 28, 2020 access here
    • Pubic Meeting held on Wednesday July 29, 2020 access here

    Access the letter for EI Families on recent EI Program Changes in ENGLISH and SPANISH  7/20/20
    Read the letter addressed to EI Referral Partners here  7/20/20

    Click here to access the Frequently Asked Questions document 7/2/2020

    Click here to access the EI Town Hall video that was held on 7/7/20 7/9/20

    Click here to access the EI Town Hall PowerPoint  7/16/20
  • Change in Eligibility Criteria UPDATED 7/16/20
    Does informed opinion of delay still apply with the new eligibility criteria? 7/16/20
    • Informed Opinion of Delay is still used when determining initial eligibility. The IFSP team may determine, through consideration of all sources of information about the child, that the child is currently demonstrating a delay that meets eligibility criteria.
    What about children that have delays in "communication only" that really have huge sensory/regulation issues that family are unaware exist? 7/16/20
    • Children must be evaluated in all areas and with the correct provider expertise included on the evaluation team. Information gathered at intake should be used to inform the makeup of the evaluation team.
    Has anyone looked into using a standardized test like the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development? 7/16/20
    • EI Colorado is investigating the use of standardized assessment tools for evaluations conducted by CCBs. Currently, the majority of EI initial evaluations are conducted by Administrative Units. The Colorado Dept of Education does not mandate which tools must be used.
    Is the states’s definition of atypical development is dependent on the current budget? 7/16/20
    • Each state determines eligibility criteria for their EI program. The amount of funding available is a consideration in this determination.
    If children who are presenting with a 25% delay are not eligible for EI CO, will other resources be offered? Will the state have a list of providers that can support families if their child is not eligible? 7/16/20
    • EI Colorado will convene a focus group to identify comprehensive resources that would be available to children who do not meet the eligibility criteria for EI. A list of available providers could be included in these resources.
    What is the definition of age expected?  Is it less than 25% or less than 33% or actual age appropriate? 7/16/20
    • Age expected means that a child's skills in that area are within typical developmental range for their chronological age.
    Have there been any projections on long term ramifications on not serving the children with a 25-32% delay?  For example cost for special education school services? 7/16/20
    • We do not have this data. The EI program's priority is to live within the current budget appropriated to the program. 
    If a child comes in with a concern in one area, but doesn't meet the 33% delay in that area, but meets the 33% delay in another area they are eligible for EI correct?  7/16/20
    • Yes. Children need to have at least a 33% delay in one area of development to be found eligible. The IFSP team convenes to develop and Individualized plan to reflect the families concerns and priorities.
    When a child exits EI and has a reentry due to a new concern, are they grandfathered in under 25% criteria or now 33% when we re-evaluate them? Does their original eligibility date stay with them or do we use the new date? 7/16/20
    • No, they must meet the current eligibility criteria as required in rule and they would have a new eligibility date. 
    How will EI Colorado ensure that families are not falling through the cracks if they are not found eligible for EI, but may still qualify for preschool services and potentially other CCB programs? 7/16/20
    • Early intervention and preschool special education services have different eligibility criteria, with Part B preschool special education eligibility criteria being generally more stringent. It has always been an expectation that service coordinators provide families with options for support for children that do not qualify for EI and this will continue to be the case.

  • Annual Assessment UPDATED 7/23/20
    When we are determining the percentage of delay for an annual IFSP, should we be adjusting for prematurity? 7/16/20
    • Yes, adjust for prematurity up until the child's second birthday..
    Why is informed opinion of delay (IOD) used at initial evaluation but not at annual IFSP meetings to determine whether or not a child has a delay? 7/16/20
    • IOD is used only in initial eligibility determination. Children do not need to meet initial eligibility criteria annually.
    At the Annual Review, is the ongoing provider acceptable or do we need to bring in two providers from different disciplines to conduct the eval? 7/23/20 
    • Current developmental information about the child is provided by all interventionists working with the child and the child is assessed in all areas. This may be done by the current provider(s). An additional provider does not need to be brought in.
  • Service Provision UPDATED 7/23/20
    If a child is transferred from another CCB and the child has not received services for a few months, do we need to re-evaluate or proceed with the IFSP document from the previous CCB? 7/23/20
    • The child will need to be reassessed and determine if EI services are still warranted. Evaluation is to determine initial eligibility.
    If a family declines to participate because of telehealth, and remains with service coordination only and then asks for services to resume when in person visits are allowed, do we need to re-evaluate? If so, do they have to meet the new eligibility criteria in order to resume services? 7/23/20
    • Children currently enrolled will be assessed at their annual review.
    How long can a family be out of services before we need to re-evaluate? If we re-evaluate, does the child have to have a 33% to re-enroll? 7/23/20
    • There is no specified time period at this time. Yes, they have to meet current eligibility requirements. Providers will need to adhere to protocol guidelines for the assessment tools they select.
    What are the possible updates to data system to reflect delays different at the annual? 7/23/20
    • The EI Data System will be updated on 7/12/2020 to reflect the change in eligibility criteria. An enhancement project is planned for Sept/Dec to capture Annual percent of delay as its own evaluation/assessment object. Currently Annual IFSP delay information is captured in the ‘Early Intervention Screening’ object. 
  • Billing/Funding UPDATED 8/4/20
    Can you clarify what you mean when you say there will be an option for providers to contract directly with OEC EI program? 7/23/20
    • Providers would have a contract directly with the OEC and reimbursed directly by the state for services provided through CCBs.
    What will the dates of reimbursement look like with the potential of an OEC EI state contract with EI Providers? With this option will providers have the choice to remain with their current CCB? 7/23/20
    • If the OEC decides to move forward with direct contracts this would eliminate the one month wait time for the CCB to invoice and get reimbursed by the state. Yes providers could remain with their CCB.
    Would a statewide provider rate take into account years of experience? Cost of living based on location? Miles traveled between families? 7/23/20
    • We could consider experience and cost of living as part of the many variables to be considered.
    Federal Funding for EI hasn't changed, so why is there a decrease to the budget for Early Intervention Colorado? 7/23/20
    • The federal grant is approximately 15% of the total budget for EI services, therefore, the majority of direct services provided to children and families is dependent on state general funding. The state is experiencing a significant budget deficit.
    What is the estimated overall reduction in spending after implementing these changes? 7/23/20
    • EI CO will be tracking expenditures to determine total cost savings by year-end.
    Will these changes be reversed if the budget improves? 7/23/20
    • If/when the state budget situation stabilizes we can consider what additional support could be made available to children who do not meet the the more stringent eligibility requirement. 
    What about the taxes from marijuana? Where are those monies spent and can they be reapportioned to help with EI programs? 7/23/20 Is there a formula to what the long term expense to Colorado and the education system will be when we cut 5 million dollars now? 7/23/20
    • We do not have this data. The EI program's priority is to live within the current budget appropriated to the program.
    I'm not sure I understand the additional 10% reduction? Who is asking for it and why? 7/23/20
    • This is direction given to the CDHS and passed down through programs within CDHS.
    Face to face time is the only reimbursable service. Has anyone done a cost analysis with all of the time it takes to complete the job of a therapist? 7/23/20
    • Therapy rates are to encompass the work of a therapist, including activities that happen outside of a therapy session.
    Is there any relief being provided by Federal funding (as in Grants for small business) as a result of COVID? 7/23/20
    • Through the Payroll Protection Program and the CARES Act, funds are available to help small businesses. Contact your accountant or bank for more information and to apply.
    Are provider rates being cut as a cost saving strategy? 8/4/20
    • Independent contractor rates are negotiated by the CCB. The 1% provider rate decrease is part of the total budgetary impact to the EI program and is being addressed through multiple cost containment strategies.

The EI Colorado program is acting on several cost-savings strategies in order to reduce program expenditures and in an effort to explain how these changes will impact the EI Program please reference this page  for updated information periodically. Each tab will contain frequently asked questions categorized by subject for your reference.