Constructing an Interagency Funding System for Early Intervention Services

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The development of a financing system to support services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and their families must combine numerous funding sources and enable them to support all Individualized Family Service Plan services. The major funding sources are direct federal and state appropriations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C and Medicaid. Others include government health, education, and human service programs; third party payers; and community and specialty organizations. Important issues arising when combining resources include identifying which funding source is first or last payer, the use of a family's own resources, determination of medical necessity, and the provision of service coordination. Strategies to address these issues include legislative mandates, the development and implementation of service guidelines, setting child- and family-centered performance outcomes, and following a clear vision of an early intervention service system.

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