Official Early Intervention Taskforce Report
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Bureau of Early Intervention


Recommendations:

Recommendation #10
The Bureau of Early Intervention will explore new funding opportunities and maximize cost efficiencies in order to retain the current eligibility criteria, protect direct services and assure long-term financial stability to the greatest extent possible.

Background

The Part C Early Intervention Program has been challenged by a number of financial issues over the last several years. When combined with net deficit spending and a rapidly growing caseload, the Program's former surplus was drained, requiring a large increase from the General Revenue Fund. Severe cuts would have been required in SFY09 and SFY10 if not for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, which will no longer be available in SFY11.

Despite this grim financial outlook, the Part C EI Program can take advantage of this current program review to identify and address program inefficiencies that will result in short and long term cost savings and to actively pursue new funding opportunities made possible by activities related to healthcare reform and stimulus program efforts.

Rationale for Recommendation

  • Despite maximizing Medicaid reimbursement, private insurance use and family financial participation, the Part C EI Program can no longer financially sustain the program's caseload in the context of the State's decreasing revenues.
  • Changes related to healthcare reform and the federal stimulus program are creating new funding opportunities that should be explored.
  • A review by the Taskforce of program costs, contracts, rates and services revealed a number of inefficiencies that, when addressed, may result in significant cost savings to the Part C EI Program.

Required Actions

  • The Finance Committee of the IICEI, in collaboration with EI advocacy partners (Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Voices for Illinois Children, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, and the Illinois Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children), and professional partners (Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, Illinois Physical Therapy Association, Illinois Developmental Therapy Association and the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association) will review legislation and information related to healthcare reform and the federal stimulus program in order to identify potential funding opportunities for the Part C EI Program.
  • The Finance Committee of the IICEI will advise the Bureau of Early Intervention on specific cost reduction strategies related to immediate budgetary issues.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will conduct a thorough evaluation of the CFC Performance Contracting system in order to eliminate components of the system that create barriers to communication and peer support and add components that target qualitative child and family outcome measures.
  • The IICEI will work with the Bureau of Early Intervention to review current policies and procedures related to evaluation, assessment, IFSP Development, implementation and review, and services - including service delivery, in order to identify inefficiencies that, when addressed, will result in cost savings and will not diminish program quality.