Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SPB 7034
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: FAV            .                                
                  11/19/2015           .                                

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Sobel)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 383.141,
    6  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
    7         383.141 Prenatally diagnosed conditions; patient to be
    8  provided information; definitions; information clearinghouse;
    9  advisory council.—
   10         (2) When a developmental disability is diagnosed based on
   11  the results of a prenatal test, the health care provider who
   12  ordered the prenatal test, or his or her designee, shall provide
   13  the patient with current information about the nature of the
   14  developmental disability, the accuracy of the prenatal test, and
   15  resources for obtaining relevant support services, including
   16  hotlines, resource centers, and information clearinghouses
   17  related to Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed
   18  developmental disabilities; support programs for parents and
   19  families; and developmental evaluation and intervention services
   20  under this part s. 391.303.
   21         (3) The Department of Health shall develop and implement a
   22  comprehensive information clearinghouse to educate health care
   23  providers, inform parents, and increase public awareness
   24  regarding brain development, developmental disabilities and
   25  delays, and all services, resources, and interventions available
   26  to mitigate the effects of impaired development among children.
   27  The clearinghouse must use the term “unique abilities” as much
   28  as possible when identifying infants or children with
   29  developmental disabilities and delays. The clearinghouse must
   30  provide:
   31         (a)Health information on conditions that may lead to
   32  impaired development of physical, learning, language, or
   33  behavioral skills.
   34         (b)Education and information to support parents whose
   35  unborn children have been prenatally diagnosed with
   36  developmental disabilities or whose children have diagnosed or
   37  suspected developmental delays.
   38         (c) Education and training for health care providers to
   39  recognize and respond appropriately to developmental
   40  disabilities, delays, and conditions related to disabilities or
   41  delays. Specific information approved by the advisory council
   42  shall be made available to health care providers for use in
   43  counseling parents whose unborn children have been prenatally
   44  diagnosed with developmental disabilities or whose children have
   45  diagnosed or suspected developmental delays.
   46         (d) Promotion of public awareness of availability of
   47  supportive services, such as resource centers, educational
   48  programs, other support programs for parents and families, and
   49  developmental evaluation and intervention services.
   50         (e) Hotlines specific to Down syndrome and other prenatally
   51  diagnosed developmental disabilities. The hotlines and the
   52  department’s clearinghouse must provide information to parents
   53  and families or other caregivers regarding the Early Steps
   54  Program under s. 391.301, the Florida Diagnostic Learning and
   55  Resource System, the Early Learning program, Healthy Start, Help
   56  Me Grow and any other intervention programs. Information offered
   57  must include directions on how to obtain early intervention,
   58  rehabilitative, and habilitative services and devices establish
   59  on its Internet website a clearinghouse of information related
   60  to developmental disabilities concerning providers of supportive
   61  services, information hotlines specific to Down syndrome and
   62  other prenatally diagnosed developmental disabilities, resource
   63  centers, educational programs, other support programs for
   64  parents and families, and developmental evaluation and
   65  intervention services under s. 391.303. Such information shall
   66  be made available to health care providers for use in counseling
   67  pregnant women whose unborn children have been prenatally
   68  diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
   69         (4)(a) There is established an advisory council within the
   70  Department of Health which consists of health care providers and
   71  caregivers who perform health care services for persons who have
   72  developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism.
   73  This group shall consist of nine members as follows:
   74         1. Three members appointed by the Governor;
   75         2. Three members appointed by the President of the Senate;
   76  and
   77         3. Three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
   78  Representatives.
   79         (b) The advisory council shall provide technical assistance
   80  to the Department of Health in the establishment of the
   81  information clearinghouse and give the department the benefit of
   82  the council members’ knowledge and experience relating to the
   83  needs of patients and families of patients with developmental
   84  disabilities and available support services.
   85         (c) Members of the council shall elect a chairperson and a
   86  vice chairperson. The elected chairperson and vice chairperson
   87  shall serve in these roles until their terms of appointment on
   88  the council expire.
   89         (d) The advisory council shall meet quarterly to review
   90  this clearinghouse of information, and may meet more often at
   91  the call of the chairperson or as determined by a majority of
   92  members.
   93         (e) The council members shall be appointed to 4-year terms,
   94  except that, to provide for staggered terms, one initial
   95  appointee each from the Governor, the President of the Senate,
   96  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be
   97  appointed to a 2-year term, one appointee each from these
   98  officials shall be appointed to a 3-year term, and the remaining
   99  initial appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms. All
  100  subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. A vacancy
  101  shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the
  102  same manner as the original appointment.
  103         (f) Members of the council shall serve without
  104  compensation. Meetings of the council may be held in person,
  105  without reimbursement for travel expenses, or by teleconference
  106  or other electronic means.
  107         (g) The Department of Health shall provide administrative
  108  support for the advisory council.
  109         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
  110  391.025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  111         391.025 Applicability and scope.—
  112         (1) The Children’s Medical Services program consists of the
  113  following components:
  114         (c) The developmental evaluation and intervention program,
  115  including the Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  116  Intervention Program.
  117         Section 2. Subsection (19) is added to section 391.026,
  118  Florida Statutes, to read:
  119         391.026 Powers and duties of the department.—The department
  120  shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities:
  121         (19) To serve as the lead agency to administer the Early
  122  Steps Program pursuant to part C of the federal Individuals with
  123  Disabilities Education Act and part III of this chapter.
  124         Section 3. Section 391.301, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  125  read:
  126         391.301 Early Steps Program; establishment and goals
  127  Developmental evaluation and intervention programs; legislative
  128  findings and intent.—
  129         (1) The Early Steps Program is established within the
  130  department to serve infants and toddlers who are at risk of
  131  developmental disabilities and infants and toddlers with
  132  developmental delays by providing developmental evaluation and
  133  early intervention and by providing families with training and
  134  support services in a variety of home and community settings The
  135  Legislature finds that the high-risk and disabled newborn
  136  infants in this state need in-hospital and outpatient
  137  developmental evaluation and intervention and that their
  138  families need training and support services. The Legislature
  139  further finds that there is an identifiable and increasing
  140  number of infants who need developmental evaluation and
  141  intervention and family support due to the fact that increased
  142  numbers of low-birthweight and sick full-term newborn infants
  143  are now surviving because of the advances in neonatal intensive
  144  care medicine; increased numbers of medically involved infants
  145  are remaining inappropriately in hospitals because their parents
  146  lack the confidence or skills to care for these infants without
  147  support; and increased numbers of infants are at risk due to
  148  parent risk factors, such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy,
  149  and other high-risk conditions.
  150         (2) The program may include screening and referral It is
  151  the intent of the Legislature to establish developmental
  152  evaluation and intervention services at all hospitals providing
  153  Level II or Level III neonatal intensive care services, in order
  154  to promptly identify newborns with disabilities or with
  155  conditions associated with risks of developmental delays so that
  156  families with high-risk or disabled infants may gain as early as
  157  possible the services and skills they need to support their
  158  infants’ development infants.
  159         (3) The program must It is the intent of the Legislature
  160  that a methodology be developed to integrate information and
  161  coordinate services on infants with potentially disabling
  162  conditions with other early intervention programs, including,
  163  but not limited to, Part C of Pub. L. No. 105-17 and the Healthy
  164  Start program, the newborn screening program, and the Blind
  165  Babies Program.
  166         (4) The program must:
  167         (a) Provide services to enhance the development of infants
  168  and toddlers with disabilities delays.
  169         (b)Expand the recognition by health care providers,
  170  families, and the public of the significant brain development
  171  that occurs during a child’s first 3 years of life.
  172         (c)Maintain the importance of the family in all areas of
  173  the child’s development and to support the family’s
  174  participation in early intervention services and decisions
  175  affecting the child.
  176         (d)Operate a comprehensive, coordinated interagency system
  177  of early intervention services and supports in accordance with
  178  part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education
  179  Act.
  180         (e)Ensure timely evaluation, individual planning, and
  181  early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs
  182  of eligible infants and toddlers.
  183         (f)Build the service capacity and enhance the competencies
  184  of health care providers serving infants and toddlers with
  185  unique needs and abilities.
  186         (g)Ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability through
  187  establishment of a high-capacity data system, active monitoring
  188  of performance indicators, and ongoing quality improvement.
  189         Section 4. Section 391.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  190  read:
  191         391.302 Definitions.—As used in ss. 391.301-391.308 ss.
  192  391.301-391.307, the term:
  193         (1) “Developmental delay” means a condition, identified and
  194  measured through appropriate instruments and procedures, which
  195  may delay physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional,
  196  or adaptive development.
  197         (2) “Developmental disability” means a condition,
  198  identified and measured through appropriate instruments and
  199  procedures, which may impair physical, cognitive, communication,
  200  social/emotional, or adaptive development.
  201         (3) “Developmental intervention” or “early intervention”
  202  means individual and group individualized therapies and services
  203  needed to enhance both the infant’s or toddler’s growth and
  204  development and family functioning. The term includes
  205  habilitative services and assistive technology devices,
  206  rehabilitative services and assistive technology devices, and
  207  parent support and training.
  208         (4) “Habilitative services and devices” means health care
  209  services and devices that help a child maintain, learn, or
  210  improve skills and functioning for daily living.
  211         (5)(2) “Infant or toddler” or “child” means a child from
  212  birth until the child’s third birthday.
  213         (6)(3) “In-hospital intervention services” means the
  214  provision of assessments; the provision of individual
  215  individualized services; monitoring and modifying the delivery
  216  of medical interventions; and enhancing the environment for the
  217  high-risk, developmentally disabled, or medically involved
  218  infant or toddler in order to achieve optimum growth and
  219  development.
  220         (7) “Local program office” means an office that administers
  221  the Early Steps Program within a municipality, county, or
  222  region.
  223         (8)(4) “Parent support and training” means a range of
  224  services to families of high-risk, developmentally disabled, or
  225  medically involved infants or toddlers, including family
  226  counseling; financial planning; agency referral; development of
  227  parent-to-parent support groups; education concerning growth,
  228  development, and developmental intervention and objective
  229  measurable skills, including abuse avoidance skills; and
  230  training of parents to advocate for their child; and bereavement
  231  counseling.
  232         (9) “Rehabilitative services and devices” means restorative
  233  and remedial services that maintain or enhance the current level
  234  of functioning of a child if there is a possibility of
  235  improvement or reversal of impairment.
  236         Section 5. Section 391.308, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  237  read:
  238         391.308 Early Steps Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  239  Program.—The department shall Department of Health may implement
  240  and administer part C of the federal Individuals with
  241  Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which shall be known as the
  242  “Early Steps “Florida Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  243  Program.”
  244         (1) PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.—The department shall ensure that
  245  the Early Steps Program complies with the following performance
  246  standards:
  247         (a)The program must provide services from referral through
  248  transition in a family-centered manner that recognizes and
  249  responds to unique circumstances and needs of infants and
  250  toddlers and their families as measured by a variety of
  251  qualitative data, including satisfaction surveys, interviews,
  252  focus groups, and input from stakeholders.
  253         (b)The program must provide individualized family support
  254  plans that are understandable and usable by families, health
  255  care providers, and payers and that identify the current level
  256  of functioning of the infant or toddler, family supports and
  257  resources, expected outcomes, and specific early intervention
  258  services needed to achieve the expected outcomes, as measured by
  259  periodic system independent evaluation.
  260         (c)The program must help each family to use available
  261  resources in a way that maximizes the child’s access to services
  262  necessary to achieve the outcomes of the individualized family
  263  support plan, as measured by family feedback and by independent
  264  assessments of services used by each child.
  265         (d)The program must offer families access to quality
  266  services that effectively enable infants and toddlers with
  267  developmental disabilities and developmental delays to achieve
  268  optimal functional levels as measured by an independent
  269  evaluation of outcome indicators in social emotional skills,
  270  communication, and adaptive behaviors.
  271         (2) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—The department shall:,
  272         (a)Jointly with the Department of Education, shall
  273  aAnnually prepare a grant application to the United States
  274  Department of Education for funding early intervention services
  275  for infants and toddlers with disabilities, from birth through
  276  36 months of age, and their families pursuant to part C of the
  277  federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  278         (b)(2)The department, Jointly with the Department of
  279  Education, provide shall include a reading initiative as an
  280  early intervention service for infants and toddlers.
  281         (c) Annually develop a state plan for the Early Steps
  282  Program.
  283         1. The plan must assess the need for early intervention
  284  services, evaluate the extent of the statewide need that is met
  285  by the program, identify barriers to fully meeting the need, and
  286  recommend specific action steps to improve program performance.
  287         2. The plan must be developed through an inclusive process
  288  that involves families, local program offices, health care
  289  providers, and other stakeholders.
  290         (d)Ensure the provision of developmental evaluation and
  291  intervention services in each hospital that provides Level II
  292  and Level III neonatal intensive care services to an infant or a
  293  toddler identified as being at risk for developmental
  294  disabilities who along with his or her family, would benefit
  295  from early intervention services.
  296         (e) Establish standards and qualifications for
  297  developmental evaluation and early intervention service
  298  providers, including standards for determining the adequacy of
  299  provider networks in each local program office service area.
  300         (f) Establish statewide uniform protocols and procedures to
  301  determine eligibility for developmental evaluation and early
  302  intervention services.
  303         (g) Establish a consistent, statewide format and procedure
  304  for preparing and completing an individualized family support
  305  plan.
  306         (h)Promote interagency cooperation and coordination, with
  307  the Medicaid program, the Department of Education program
  308  pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities
  309  Education Act, and programs providing child screening such as
  310  the Florida Diagnostic Learning and Resource System, the Early
  311  Learning program, Healthy Start, and Help Me Grow program.
  312         1. Coordination with the Medicaid program shall be
  313  developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  314  Agency for Health Care Administration and Medicaid managed care
  315  entities as well as through active and ongoing communication
  316  with these entities. The department shall assist local program
  317  offices to negotiate agreements with Medicaid managed care
  318  entities in the service areas of the local program offices. Such
  319  agreements may be formal or informal.
  320         2. Coordination with education programs pursuant to part B
  321  of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act shall
  322  be developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  323  Department of Education. The department shall assist local
  324  program offices to negotiate agreements with school districts in
  325  the service areas of the local program offices.
  326         (i)Develop and disseminate the knowledge and methods
  327  necessary to effectively coordinate benefits among various payor
  328  types.
  329         (j) Provide an appeals process under chapter 120 for
  330  applicants found ineligible for developmental evaluation or
  331  early intervention services or denied financial support for such
  332  services.
  333         (k)Competitively procure local program offices to provide
  334  services throughout the state in accordance with chapter 287.
  335  The department shall specify the requirements and qualifications
  336  for local program offices in the procurement document.
  337         (l) Establish performance standards and other metrics for
  338  evaluation of local program offices, including standards for
  339  measuring timeliness of services, outcomes of early intervention
  340  services, and administrative efficiency. Performance standards
  341  and metrics shall be developed in consultation with local
  342  program offices.
  343         (m) Provide technical assistance to the local program
  344  offices.
  345         (3) ELIGIBILITY.—The department shall apply the following
  346  eligibility criteria as authorized in the General Appropriations
  347  Act.
  348         (a) All infants and toddlers in this state are eligible for
  349  an evaluation to determine the presence of a developmental
  350  disability or conditions that cause or increase the risk of
  351  developmental delays.
  352         (b)All infants and toddlers determined to have a
  353  developmental disability based on an established condition or
  354  determined to be at risk of developmental delays based on an
  355  informed clinical opinion are eligible for Early Steps Program
  356  services.
  357         (c) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  358  the application of a standardized evaluation instrument results
  359  in a score that is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in two
  360  or more of the following domains: physical, cognitive,
  361  communication, social or emotional, and adaptive.
  362         (d) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  363  the application of a standardized evaluation instrument results
  364  in a score that is 2.0 standard deviations from the mean in one
  365  of the following domains: physical, cognitive, communication,
  366  social or emotional, and adaptive.
  367         (e) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  368  diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that has a high
  369  probability of resulting in a developmental delay.
  370         (4) DUTIES OF THE LOCAL PROGRAM OFFICES.—A local program
  371  office shall:
  372         (a)Evaluate a child to determine eligibility within 45
  373  calendar days after the child is referred to the program.
  374         (b)Notify the parent or legal guardian of his or her
  375  child’s eligibility status initially and at least annually
  376  thereafter. If a child is determined not to be eligible, the
  377  local program office must provide the parent or legal guardian
  378  with written information on the right to an appeal and the
  379  process for making such an appeal.
  380         (c) Secure and maintain interagency agreements or contracts
  381  with local school districts and the Medicaid managed care plans
  382  in a local service area.
  383         (d) Provide services directly or procure services from
  384  health care providers that meet or exceed the minimum
  385  qualifications established for service providers. The local
  386  program office must become a Medicaid provider if it provides
  387  services directly.
  388         (e) Provide directly or procure services that are, to the
  389  extent possible, delivered in a child’s natural environment,
  390  such as in the child’s home or community setting. The inability
  391  to provide services in the natural environment is not a
  392  sufficient reason to deny services.
  393         (f) Develop an individualized family support plan for each
  394  child served. The plan must:
  395         1. Be completed within 45 calendar days after referral in
  396  the program;
  397         2. Be developed in conjunction with the child’s parent or
  398  legal guardian who provides written consent for the services
  399  included in the plan;
  400         3. Be reviewed at least every six months with the parent or
  401  legal guardian and updated if needed; and
  402         4. Include steps to transition to school or other future
  403  services by the child’s third birthday.
  404         (g) Assess the progress of the child and his or her family
  405  in meeting the goals of the individualized family support plan.
  406         (h) For each service required by the individualized family
  407  support plan, refer the child to an appropriate service provider
  408  or work with Medicaid managed care entities or private insurers
  409  to secure the needed services.
  410         (i) Provide service coordination services, including
  411  contacting the appropriate service provider to determine whether
  412  the provider can timely deliver the service, providing the
  413  parent or legal guardian with the name and location of the
  414  service and the date of any appointment made on behalf of the
  415  child, and contacting the parent or legal guardian after the
  416  service is provided to ensure that the service is delivered
  417  timely and to determine whether the family requests additional
  418  services.
  419         (j) Negotiate and maintain agreements with Medicaid
  420  providers and Medicaid managed care entities in its area.
  421         1. With the parent’s or legal guardian’s permission, the
  422  services in the child’s approved individualized family support
  423  plan shall be communicated to the Medicaid managed care entity.
  424  Services that cannot be funded by Medicaid must be specifically
  425  identified and explained to the family.
  426         2. The agreement between the local program office and
  427  Medicaid managed care entities must establish methods of
  428  communication and procedures for the timely approval of services
  429  covered by Medicaid.
  430         (k) Develop agreements and arrangements with private
  431  insurers in order to coordinate benefits and services for any
  432  mutual enrollee.
  433         1. The child’s approved individualized family support plan
  434  may be communicated to the child’s insurer with the parent’s or
  435  legal guardian’s permission.
  436         2. The local program office and private insurers shall
  437  establish methods of communication and procedures for the timely
  438  approval of services covered by the child’s insurer, if
  439  appropriate and approved by the child’s parent or legal
  440  guardian.
  441         (l)Provide to the department data necessary for an
  442  evaluation of the local program office performance.
  443         (5)ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING.—By December 1 of each year,
  444  the department shall prepare and submit a report that assesses
  445  the performance of the Early Steps Program to the Governor, the
  446  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  447  Representatives, and the Florida Interagency Coordinating
  448  Council for Infants and Toddlers. The department must address
  449  the performance standards in subsection (1) and report actual
  450  performance compared to the standards for the prior fiscal year.
  451  The data used to compile the report must be submitted by each
  452  local program office in the state. The department shall report
  453  on all of the following measures:
  454         (a) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers served
  455  with an individualized family support plan.
  456         (b) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  457  demonstrating improved social/emotional skills after the
  458  program.
  459         (c) Number and percentage of infants and toddlers
  460  demonstrating improved use of knowledge and cognitive skills
  461  after the program.
  462         (d) Number and percentage of families reporting positive
  463  outcomes in their infant and toddler's development as a result
  464  of early intervention services.
  465         (e) Progress toward meeting the goals of individualized
  466  family support plans.
  467         (f) Any additional measures established by the department.
  469  Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers shall
  470  serve as the state interagency coordinating council required by
  471  34 C.F.R. s. 303.600. The council shall be housed for
  472  administrative purposes in the department, and the department
  473  shall provide administrative support to the council.
  474         (7)TRANSITION TO EDUCATION.—
  475         (a)At least 90 days before a child reaches 3 years of age,
  476  the local program office shall initiate transition planning to
  477  ensure the child’s successful transition from the Early Steps
  478  Program to a school district program for children with
  479  disabilities or to another program as part of an individual
  480  family support plan.
  481         (b) At least 3 months before a child reaches 3 years of
  482  age, the local program office shall:
  483         1. Notify the local school district in which the child
  484  resides and the Department of Education that the child may be
  485  eligible for special education or related services as determined
  486  by the local school district pursuant to ss. 1003.21 and
  487  1003.57, unless the child’s parent or legal guardian has opted
  488  out of such notification; and
  489         2.Upon approval by the child’s parent or legal guardian,
  490  convene a transition conference that includes participation of a
  491  local school district representative and the parent or legal
  492  guardian to discuss options for and availability of services.
  493         (c) The local school district shall evaluate and determine
  494  a child’s eligibility to receive special education or related
  495  services pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals with
  496  Disabilities Education Act and ss. 1003.21 and 1003.57.
  497         (d)The local program office, in conjunction with the local
  498  school district, shall modify a child’s individual family
  499  support plan or, if applicable, the local school district shall
  500  develop an individual education plan for the child pursuant to
  501  ss. 1003.57, 1003.571, and 1003.5715, which identifies special
  502  education or related services that the child will receive and
  503  the providers or agencies that will provide such services.
  504         (e) If a child is determined to be ineligible for school
  505  district program services, the local program office and the
  506  local school district shall provide the child’s parent or legal
  507  guardian with written information on other available services or
  508  community resources.
  509         (f)The local program office shall negotiate and maintain
  510  an interagency agreement with each local school district in its
  511  service area pursuant to the federal Individuals with
  512  Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1435(a)(10)(F). Each
  513  interagency agreement must be reviewed at least annually and
  514  updated upon review, if needed.
  515         Section 6. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 413.092,
  516  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  517         413.092 Blind Babies Program.—
  518         (1) The Blind Babies Program is created within the Division
  519  of Blind Services of the Department of Education to provide
  520  community-based early-intervention education to children from
  521  birth through 5 years of age who are blind or visually impaired,
  522  and to their parents, families, and caregivers, through
  523  community-based provider organizations. The division shall
  524  enlist parents, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, schools, the
  525  Early Steps Program Infant and Toddlers Early Intervention
  526  Programs, and therapists to help identify and enroll blind and
  527  visually impaired children, as well as their parents, families,
  528  and caregivers, in these educational programs.
  529         (2) The program is not an entitlement but shall promote
  530  early development with a special emphasis on vision skills to
  531  minimize developmental delays. The education shall lay the
  532  groundwork for future learning by helping a child progress
  533  through normal developmental stages. It shall teach children to
  534  discover and make the best use of their skills for future
  535  success in school. It shall seek to ensure that visually
  536  impaired and blind children enter school as ready to learn as
  537  their sighted classmates. The program shall seek to link these
  538  children, and their parents, families, and caregivers, to other
  539  available services, training, education, and employment programs
  540  that could assist these families in the future. This linkage may
  541  include referrals to the school districts and the Early Steps
  542  Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program for assessments
  543  to identify any additional services needed which are not
  544  provided by the Blind Babies Program. The division shall develop
  545  a formula for eligibility based on financial means and may
  546  create a means-based matrix to set a copayment fee for families
  547  having sufficient financial means.
  548         Section 7. Subsection (1) of section 1003.575, Florida
  549  Statutes, is amended to read:
  550         1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings;
  551  interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and
  552  coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and
  553  services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves
  554  from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school,
  555  from one school to another, and from school to employment or
  556  independent living. If an individual education plan team makes a
  557  recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule
  558  for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to
  559  receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must
  560  be completed within 60 school days after the team’s
  561  recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device
  562  issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized
  563  family support plan, individual support plan, or an individual
  564  education plan remains with the individual through such
  565  transitions, the following agencies shall enter into interagency
  566  agreements, as appropriate, to ensure the transaction of
  567  assistive technology devices:
  568         (1) The Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  569  Intervention Program in the Division of Children’s Medical
  570  Services of the Department of Health.
  572  Interagency agreements entered into pursuant to this section
  573  shall provide a framework for ensuring that young persons with
  574  disabilities and their families, educators, and employers are
  575  informed about the utilization and coordination of assistive
  576  technology devices and services that may assist in meeting
  577  transition needs, and shall establish a mechanism by which a
  578  young person or his or her parent may request that an assistive
  579  technology device remain with the young person as he or she
  580  moves through the continuum from home to school to postschool.
  581         Section 8. Section 391.303, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  582         Section 9. Section 391.304, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  583         Section 10. Section 391.305, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  584         Section 11. Section 391.306, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  585         Section 12. Section 391.307, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  586         Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.
  589  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  590  And the title is amended as follows:
  591         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  592  and insert:
  593                       A bill to be entitled                       
  594         An act relating to prenatal services and early
  595         childhood development; amending s. 383.141, F.S.;
  596         revising the requirements for the Department of Health
  597         to maintain a clearinghouse of information for parents
  598         and health care providers on developmental evaluation
  599         and early intervention programs; requiring the
  600         clearinghouse to use a specified term; revising the
  601         information to be included in the clearinghouse;
  602         amending s. 391.025, F.S.; revising the components of
  603         the Children’s Medical Services program; amending s.
  604         391.026, F.S.; requiring the department to serve as
  605         the lead agency to administer the Early Steps Program;
  606         amending s. 391.301, F.S.; deleting a provision
  607         relating to legislative findings and establishing the
  608         Early Steps Program within the department; providing
  609         requirements and responsibilities for the program;
  610         amending s. 391.302, F.S.; defining terms; revising
  611         the definitions of certain terms; amending s. 391.308,
  612         F.S.; renaming the “Infants and Toddlers Early
  613         Intervention Program” as the “Early Steps Program”;
  614         requiring, rather than authorizing, the department to
  615         implement and administer the program; providing
  616         performance standards; revising the duties of the
  617         department; establishing eligibility criteria for the
  618         program; providing duties for local program offices;
  619         requiring the development of an individualized family
  620         support plan for each child served in the program;
  621         requiring referral for services by a local program
  622         office under certain circumstances; requiring the
  623         local program office to negotiate and maintain
  624         agreements with specified providers and managed care
  625         plans; requiring the local program office to
  626         coordinate with managed care plans; requiring the
  627         department to submit an annual report to the Governor,
  628         the Legislature, and the Florida Interagency
  629         Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers;
  630         designating the Florida Interagency Coordinating
  631         Council for Infants and Toddlers as the state
  632         interagency coordinating council required by federal
  633         rule; providing requirements for the local program
  634         office and local school district to prepare children
  635         for the transition to school; amending s. 413.092,
  636         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
  637         act; amending s. 1003.575, F.S.; conforming provisions
  638         to changes made by the act; repealing ss. 391.303,
  639         391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and 391.307, F.S., relating
  640         to requirements for the Children’s Medical Services
  641         program, program coordination, program standards,
  642         program funding and contracts, and program review,
  643         respectively; providing an effective date.