- There has been no study as to how much money will be brought in, nobody how knows how many families will be effected or if the state can even bring enough money to make this worth it
- The policy states they use an AZ tax return to calculate your income for the program, but what they don't realize is that these returns cap the amount of losses you are allowed to report on them. For instance, you could have over a million dollars in investment losses, but you are only allowed to report $3000 of it on your return
- They have not looked at any other avenues or means of calculating someone's income, they have not looked at county or federal programs equations, or even private industry (like the mortgage industry to calculate income vs debt ratio).
- There is no accurate way to inform families how much they will wind up having to pay in the long run
- They need to do a study to see if it is even feasible, it did not seem like they had plans to do so
- In the policy it stated that if parents don't pay, then they refer it to a department within the state that will start a collections process, which means that parent's wages can be garnished, tax returns withheld etc. (they did state that this was not supposed to happen, but I'm not sure what they expect when you refer these situations to that department, do they expect that they would have the paperwork just sit there?) but funny, the policy doesn't mention this at all. If it did I can tell you it could be a huge deterrent for parents, especially in times where our job situations and structures are so fragile, why would you even think of agreeing to something like that or have something hanging like that over your head? It's ridiculous
- They seem to expect that service coordinators will collect the financial data. As a former Social Worker, I can tell you right now that is out of their scope of practice, Social Workers and Educators are not accountants, if they wanted to be accountants for the most part, they would be accountants, it pays better. I can only speak for myself, but I can tell you one of the reasons I was drawn to the Social Work profession in the first place was because of my LACK of aptitude for accounting and numbers. I asked if there were aware of any service coordinators that had financial or accounting experience in their background, the answer was no.
- There was also the fact of discussing how the info would be collected and transported, service coordinators do their paperwork by hand, does that mean they sit there with a calculator? Do they take a copy of your tax return, put it in a file in their car and drive it around all day until they come back to the office? What about coordinators that work from home? That hasn't been answered yet.
- The policy states that parents are supposed to have an idea of the cost (or at least know the percentage they will be responsible for) before they sign an IFSP, how can that be possible, especially when there is a waiting list for services, nobody knows how long it will take to put thing in place, and different providers can charge different rates? What if you move? Different geographic areas have different rates.
- If children are on AHCCCS they will provide their services instead of AZEIP or DDD. I asked if all providers were able to bill AHCCCS, not all AZEIP providers are contracted with AHCCCS, the answer was to just get another provider or help your current provider contract with them! WHY IS THAT OUR ROLE? NOT ALL PARENTS EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS STUFF MEANS BUT ARE SUPPOSED TO TELL OUR PROVIDERS WHO TO CONTRACT WITH? What about continuity of care? That would be out the window too.
- There does not seem to be any planned outreach to providers to assist in the process of transitioning to working with AHCCCS instead of AZEIP or DDD.
Of course I asked if someone was responsible for 100% of the state's cost, why would they bother being in the program? They told me that they would get service coordination and support for free.
GREAT! They will coordinate services that families will not be receiving because they can't afford to be or aren't able to participate in the program! Good for them! Let's document how far behind these children get because of a lack of services, it will give parents some ammunition if they want to sue the state later. BRILLIANT!
Wait? How can you coordinate services if there aren't any services to coordinate?
Darned if I know!
PLEASE PLEASE if you live in the Tucson area attend tonight's meeting:
May 28, 2009 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Himmel Park Branch Library Meeting Room 1035 N. Treat Avenue Tucson, AZ 85716
I won't be traveling to Tucson to be there (as fun as it would be to travel with a 20 month old in the car for 3 hours to go a meeting and back again) but I would love for someone who can go to send me the info on the meeting, any updates and let me know how it went, I will be more than happy to post it.