AzEIP Contractors, DDD, and ASDB were on an AzEIP conference call on 3/18/2020. Here are guidance AzEIP has provided to questions that were asked.
1. Question: What is the procedure or process if the family refuses teletherapy (teleintervention)?
Answer: Please discuss alternative service delivery options with the families you serve. If a family is uncomfortable or unable to participate in teleintervention, document the family’s decision in the SC or provider notes. Additionally, the SC should complete a Prior Written Notice and send to the family along with the Child and Family Rights Handbook and information to contact the AzEIP state office.
2. Question: What should we do if a family does not have internet, internet quality is low, or their cell phone is pay by the minute?
Answer: • Contact families to find out about their technology access (cell phone, computer, video, email, etc.). • Determine the best approach to visits if the family would like to continue them virtually. • Discuss a back-up plan if technology is not meeting needs or working as expected. • Document the plan in SC and/or provider notes.
3. Question: If a family would like teleintervention but doesn’t have an email address, can we assist the family in setting up an email address?
Answer: Yes, you may offer visits by phone only or assist with email set up. This is a part of the role of the SC.
4. Question: If we are unable to meet timelines because of the current situation how should that be documented?
Answer: At this time, we recommend following current AzEIP policy and procedures according to the individual situation. For example: • If a family wants to wait, that would be documented in the SC and/or provider notes and I-TEAMS as a family delay. • If the team member cancels, that would be documented in the SC and/or provider notes and I-TEAMS as a team delay. • If the delay is due to the program being closed, i.e. not providing any services including teleintervention, that would be documented in the SC and/or provider notes as “program closed due to COVID19”. The program should also document the Delay Reason in ITEAMS as Weather/Natural Disaster delay.
5. Question: How should we proceed with new referrals and will we be given a grace period for the 45-day timeline due to the pandemic?
Answer: According to IDEA, there is no ability to waive this requirement. As an EIP, do everything you can to support the family within the required timeframes. When and if OSEP offers additional guidance on the 45-day timeline, the AzEIP office will provide that information.
6. Question: If a closure occurs (county, EI office, etc.) and teleintervention is not an option, do compensatory services need to be offered?
Answer: The EIP should provide services as soon as possible after reopening and IFSP teams may need to meet to consider whether the family’s needs have changed, if they need a different level of services, and/or if compensatory services are needed. Refer to OSEP guidance for specific information.
Contingency Plan of Early Intervention Program
7. Question: Who should we communicate our contingency plan to and any changes as they occur? Should this be a detailed written plan?
Answer: Please send your contingency plans to Allazeip2@azdes.gov and yes, we expect a detailed plan of your business changes.
8. Question: If a family doesn't want teleintervention but a provider doesn't want to go to the home is that a family delay as well?
Answer: The team should complete a Prior Written Notice and refer the family to the AzEIP office immediately.
9. Question: Is there a form that families need to sign to indicate they agree or disagree with the use of teleintervention?
Answer: No, at this time the family may provide verbal consent they agree or do not agree, and their choice should be documented in the SC or provider notes.
10. Question: When completing an IFSP meeting via teleconferencing (teleintervention), can we accept a verbal agreement from the family and consider that the consent date in ITEAMS?
Answer: Yes, at this time you can accept the verbal agreement as the consent date. As for documenting the consent date in ITEAMS based on the verbal consent, again this is ok but remember if and when the parent returns the signed documents, if the parent has any disagreement with what was agreed upon, you will have to change/update the consent date in the system.
11. Question: How do we proceed with the Initial Planning Process (including evaluations) when we’re not conducting in-person visits?
Answer: Continue to contact the family within the 2 days in accordance with the current AzEIP Policy and Procedure manuals. Discuss the current situation and ask the family about their technology access. Next, send any documents you will need to discuss with the family either via email or U.S. mail in advance so that the family will have time to review before the teleintervention visit. (This applies to all teleintervention visits
regarding documentation the family needs to review). Video is the best option in conducting the Initial Planning Process but be creative. Please be sure SCs and team members are supportive of families and share accurate information about the methods of service delivery available. If a family has additional questions, refer them to the AzEIP COVID-19 section of the website and share information to contact your program leadership or the AzEIP office for further questions.
AzEIP is conferring with partners for specific guidance on your billing questions and will address all of the questions in additional FAQs this week.
12. Question: Why can't we bill teletherapy through ITEAMS with a note?
Answer: Guidance is changing daily on billing. In addition to the families you service and your well-being, this is our highest priority.
13. Question: Can AzEIP send out a template spreadsheet that contains all information needed to track telehealth services provided?
Answer: Yes, we will work on a template for tracking health services. The EIP should keep a log until the template is available.
14. Question: What information needs to be included in an Incident Report when a family or provider has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19?
Answer: • For families: indicate the family, region and potential providers that may have been impacted. Describe what your agency is doing according to your contingency/pandemic plan. • For providers: indicate the provider, region and any potential contact with families or other staff members. Describe what your agency is doing according to your contingency/pandemic plan.
15. Question: How will we know when COVID-19 updates are made to the AzEIP website?
Answer: An FAQ will be added to the COVID-19 webpage on the AzEIP website daily.
16. What is the link for AzEIP COVID-19 updates?