RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Children's Services in the New Budget
July 10, 2002

There are several sections of the FY 2002/03 State budget of interest to providers of children's services. The lack of a cost of living adjustment will affect those children's services funded through county contracts. However, services funded through Medical Assistance reimbursement will continue to be considered on a medical necessity basis. Some specific budget action includes:

  • In regard to the "$100,000 proposal," the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will not consider parental income in determining eligibility for children with disabilities. The Department will require parents to provide information about income, length of residence in Pennsylvania, insurance coverage, and type and cost of services paid for by Medical Assistance. This information will be reported annually to the general assembly. The budget bill also requires DPW to develop a statewide autism registry.
  • The final budget bill included the following language: "The department shall not alter the medical necessity criteria for therapeutic staff support, mobile therapy and behavior specialist consultant services until the department develops, with public input, a comprehensive plan for children's behavioral health services and presents this plan to the Public Health and Welfare Committee of the Senate and the Health and Human Services Committee of the House of Representatives."
  • Early Intervention in both the DPW and the Education budgets is slated for an increase to serve additional children. The DPW program for children from birth through age two would serve an additional 1,132 children in the new year. Special Education funding is increased by 1.5%. The Special Education for Approved Private Schools line item was level-funded at $63.45 million.

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