Florida Senate - 2016                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 7034
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  01/13/2016           .                                

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