BEHAVIOR SERVICES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
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To: Governor Rick Scott, Lt Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Senator Marco Rubio, All Congress, All State representative, All Commissioners etc.
Subject: Special needs Children, Adults and Families regarding Behavior Therapies.
The only request parents and Caregivers of special needs children and adults want from our elected officials, at the State and Federal level, is understanding an issue that perhaps, has not touched your family. We want to only make you aware and see how together we can make a difference. Please walk with us on the current challenges our families are battling.
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Florida has established mandates in the past months that have seriously affected children with disabilities. Recent changes were suddenly announced affecting the provision and delivery of services of behavioral analysis provided through Florida Medicaid.
Authorization services are being transitioned from Beacon Health Options to EQ Health Solutions. Commencing on March 26, 2018. (with only one week of notice) EQ Health Solutions will begin reviewing all the requests for BA services. Through this transition period, treatment hours were reduced from 30-35 hours per week to 20 hours per week (including analyst hours). Officials claim to have mailed letters to recipients and providers explaining these changes. However, letters were not received by many parents affected by the new changes. Beacon Health Options created hardships to families and providers. In some cases, an approved authorization would be issued, and the provider would provide services based on good faith; however, Beacon Health Options would never issue the Authorization number for the provider to be able to bill for Services. Provider agencies are owed thousands of dollars and Beacon Health Options are blaming Florida Medicaid for this error. In some instances, the authorization would not be issued, and the case status reflected (“pending”). Now EQ Health Solutions are supposed to authorize at least 20 hours through the transitional period; moreover, the authorization is also stating (“pending”) and others are experiencing “technical difficulties”. Agencies currently have authorizations (“in the air”); Client’s services on hold as well as staff on hold. Services cannot be effective without the continuity of care.
Parents and individuals with disabilities have experienced a prolonged journey through a complex system to obtain these services that aide children with behavioral issues.
These glitches in the system and abrupt changes cause an enormous hardship on these families and providers. The inability to obtain authorizations creates distress for the most vulnerable population-individuals with disabilities. On March 1, 2018 provider Agencies began experiencing problems with authorizations stating there were technical difficulties or system maintenance issues.
On March 15, 2018 Agencies received a statewide notice indicating the change. There was an announcement to stand by and watch a webinar on March 22, 2018. The webinar explained the changes to take in effect on March 26, 2018. Agencies are respectfully requesting for Florida Medicaid to facilitate a more cohesive transition for behavior services and to assure the most vulnerable population that you will not leave them without the care they so desperately need.
In closing, let us reflect on truth, America is the land where everything is possible! When we all work together for tax paying citizen’s! We need to find innovative solutions for all the Human and Health issues confronted by families and as Citizen’s we too understand we must do our part. All parents and Caregivers do not want government to take care of all their needs; however, they do want to have a voice, and for elected officials to understand the issues facing special needs children and families. We want to have a place at the table when it comes to Local, State and Federal issues that impact our very difficult journey with these special children who grow up to be adults, yet they truly are never adults because of their conditions.
The Parents of Special Needs children and adults
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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