For Contracted Providers:
Augusta 18, 2020
June 18, 2020
June 11, 2020
EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR SERVICES (ESY) PART B (3-20yrs)
CDS ESY and SPU Guidance 6/10/20
June 10, 2020
Extended School Year
Beginning June 15, 2020, CDS will reinstate the option of in-person services for ESY, as appropriate, in the 13 Maine counties with no community transmission of COVID-19 (as of 6/10/2020). ESY services are provided to students who have documented regression during prolonged absences from services or have significant needs. Due to continued community transmission, remote services continue to be recommended in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties. In resuming in-person services, the health and safety of children, families, and providers must be the top priority and the precautionary measures identified in Maine DOE’s Guidance on Summer Services for summer services should be followed.
Although in-person ESY services will be permitted, IEP teams must determine, on a child-by-child basis, if in-person services are necessary. Those students for whom remote services have been effective, based on data, should continue to receive services remotely. Despite a determination that in-person services are appropriate, families may opt to continue accessing services via tele-education.
ESY may be offered for students who had limited ability to access services remotely after March 16, 2020 and now are able to receive in-person or hybrid services.
In counties with community transmission, an exception could be made for students who were unable to meaningfully access their program remotely.
The following steps must be taken before implementing in-person services.
1. Identify students with significant needs and for whom in-person summer services may be necessary and communicate with families and IEP teams.
2. Providers must identify and purchase necessary protective equipment, including but not limited to:
a. Cleaning supplies per CDC guidelines.
b. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff caring for students who cannot maintain 6-foot distancing: Face coverings or shields, gloves, gowns
c. Soap paper towels for handwashing; hand sanitizer
3. Modify any existing health and safety plans and/or school protocols as needed due to COVID-19, following the Guidance on Summer Services provided by the Maine DOE.
4. Develop a training plan that includes identification of the staff needing to be trained on safety protocols, procurement of resources and trainers, and a system to confirm all necessary training is completed prior to in-person instruction.
Once these steps have been taken, in-person instruction may begin for students in a modified or limited way. In-person services might include individual or small group instruction. Related services may continue to be provided by remote means in a preschool setting assisted by preschool staff. This will be supported through CDS.
Some students who are receiving in-person services may still require some remote services. Remote services for such students should remain in place until comprehensive in-person learning resumes.
Services Previously Unavailable
As in past years, services previously unavailable (SPUs) that have accrued over the academic year will be provided once the CDS academic year has concluded. SPU is not “COVID Impact Recovery Service.” The determination of SPUs to be provided will be based on the accrual prior to the cessation of in-person CDS services on March 16, 2020. Services not provided during the hiatus between the cessation of in-person services and the implementation of remote services may be considered. SPU determination is not necessarily a minute-by-minute calculation. Instead, the identified frequency and intensity will reflect what is necessary to support the student’s progress toward their annual IEP goals.
For students who were unable to access services virtually subsequent to the March 16th cessation of in-person services, due only to lack of provider availability or connectivity, the process for determining services is the same as above: the identified frequency and intensity should reflect what is necessary to support the student’s adequate progress toward their annual IEP goals.
 “COVID impact recovery services” are not compensatory education and are defined as services provided to a student to remediate lost skills due to alternative school instruction. They may be intended to improve outcomes for students who were not able to meaningfully engage in remote instruction or had limited progress during this period.
Topic: CDS 619 Contracted Provider Meeting
Time: Jun 10, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time
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Meeting ID: 954 3154 5822
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Roy K. Fowler
Based on the attendance and engagement at the CDS Part B/619 Contracted Provider Meeting, CDS and MDOE would like to hold weekly meetings with those providers. These meetings are scheduled for every Monday afternoon, from 1:00 to 2:00, through the end of June or further if necessary. For those who are unable to attend, the meetings will be recorded and posted on the CDS website. The Zoom log in information is below:
For those who cannot attend, meeting minutes will be provided upon request.
Virtual meeting with CDS and Part B/619 Contracted Providers: CDS State IEU is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: CDS Part B/619 Contracted Providers
Please note that the meeting time has been moved to 1pm on Mondays.
Date and time of CDS Part B/619 Provider meeting to be determined.
Roy K. Fowler
April 8, 2020
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we’ve tried to sort things out now that the dust has settled (at least a little bit). I was speaking to one of you yesterday and expressed my admiration that, as a system, there was an unspoken agreement to get supports and services for children and families into place and then sort out the details later. We’ve reviewed the survey responses that many of you provided and also completed an analysis of the same variables at the CDS regional sites. Below is a summary of survey responses from both contracted providers and CDS staff:
- While a large number of respondents indicated that little or no additional time was required in transitioning to the remote provision of supports and services, the majority of respondents indicated that the transition required between 1 and 5 hours. Although some respondents indicated significantly more time invested, it seems that those were larger providers whose reported invested time included multiple providers.
- The majority of respondents indicated that 6 hours of training, or less, was required to access training and resources regarding the implementation of the remote provision of services. Again, a small number of respondents indicated significantly more hours dedicated to training and accessing resources, but those respondents were likely larger providers who were reporting the cumulative hours across multiple employees.
- The majority of providers indicated that 5 hours or less were required in initially contacting families to coordinate the transition to the remote provision of supports and services. As with the 2 bullets above, there were a small number of outliers, likely larger contracted providers, who indicated anywhere from 36 to 100 hours were devoted to this activity.
- Although 38 respondents indicated that they incurred no additional expenses in transitioning to the remote provision of services, many respondents reported additional expenses which included $20 to $385/month for telepractice platforms, $1746 for online courses for telepractice training, webcams, headsets, postage, and other items.
- The overwhelming majority of providers reported 15 to 30 minutes of prep time per session. For students attending preschools, this reported prep time held true when the time was distributed equally across students.
- Approximately 50% of respondents indicated that the length of sessions remained the same – this is likely primarily for Part C services and Part B related services – while 50% of respondents indicated that remote sessions were shorter in length. Those who reported shortened sessions indicated that most were ¾ or ½ the authorized time. A small number reported that sessions were approximately ¼ the authorized time.
As indicated in a previous communication, CDS is committed to providing compensation for additional work as fairly as its resources allow and in a way that is equitable across contracted providers. In reviewing the information available, obtaining a more detailed understanding of resources expended, and identifying the most straightforward way to address this issue, CDS has developed the following plan:
- To accommodate the transition to the remote provision of supports and services, CDS will provide an additional 5% in reimbursement based on services provided the week of March 16th and the week of March 23rd. This includes services provided during that period which were billed to MaineCare, private insurance, and CDS. In order for services to qualify for the additional 5%, a service log must be entered into CINC, regardless of pay source. Those service logs must be invoiced within 45 days of services delivery to be considered for additional reimbursement.
- Per survey responses, much of the additional preparation time can be included in service logs and accommodated within the authorized time. When possible, please include both the service time and prep time in the single service log. Do not use an additional service log under the same authorization or under a separate authorization (i.e. ‘consult’) to document/invoice preparation time. Preparation time must be associated with the remote provision of supports and services and cannot reflect non-billable preparation time that would not have been reimbursed prior to this transition.
- For instances in which the preparation and service time cannot be accommodated within the authorized time, providers can adjust the reimbursement rate when completing the invoicing step in CINC. The revised reimbursement rate should reflect the authorized time and any time beyond the authorized time. Within the body of the service log, please clearly define the minutes spent in providing services, the minutes spent in preparation, and detail as to what the additional preparation time/resource commitment entails. Approval of reimbursement for preparation/resource commitment beyond the authorized time will be based the survey responses above.
- Service logs that have already been entered and invoiced can be edited/revised to reflect preparation time as indicated above. Contracted providers who experience difficulty editing service logs or are unable to do so may contact Bettie Fuller, in accounts payable, at Bettie.Fuller@Maine.Gov, with documentation of service log number to be adjusted and explanation of why the adjustment is necessary.
- In order for reimbursement for preparation time to be considered for services for which MaineCare or private insurance is the payer, a service log must be entered and invoiced in CINC. When the contracted provider receives the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the third party, the EOB should be submitted to CDS, including the child’s CINC ID and relevant service log numbers. Once the EOB is received, CDS will provide reimbursement for appropriate preparation/resource commitment. Again, approval of reimbursement will be based on the survey responses above.
While the plan for reimbursement detailed above may not be ideal for all providers and may not fit every situation, CDS hopes that it is at least acceptable to all of you.
Thank you for your hard work and commitment,
Roy K. Fowler
State IEU Child Development Services
Guidance to CDS Contracted Providers Regarding Service Provision During the Civil State of Emergency, March 16, 2020. Click here
March 23, 2020
For Contracted Providers:
First, I wanted to thank all of you for your collective effort to sustain services to the children and families that we serve. I’m amazed that a situation that seemed overwhelming and doomed to disaster at the start has rapidly evolved into a sustainable, albeit not ideal, structure for continuing to support children and families receiving early intervention and early childhood special education services.
CDS would like to set up a way in which CDS Teams and CDS Contracted Providers can share ideas, challenges, and solutions so that, as a system, we can continue to evolve and improve our work with children and families into the near future. Once we’ve identified an appropriate format, an email will be sent to contracted providers and the CDS Teams. It will also be posted on this website.
I also encourage all of us to view this time as an opportunity to pilot and make improvements to providing services via tele-therapy/tele-education. Knowing that Maine’s birth to 5 system is perennially challenged to meet the needs of all children and families in a timely manner, tele-therapy/tele-education could provide a needed boost and a more effective and efficient way to meet the system’s needs.
I know that that the two communications that have been sent to contracted providers likely leave many of your questions and concerns unaddressed.