Improvements to the Early Intervention System Reversing the Negative Trajectory

Published On: November 3rd, 2019Categories: Archived Advocacy

Improvements to the Early Intervention System Reversing the Negative Trajectory
November 3, 2019

New Jersey’s Early Intervention System (EIS) was founded decades ago and is considered quite robust, with hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars that pay for state oversight, provider contracts and agreements with scores of regional, county and local organizations that help screen, diagnose and treat children for a range of developmental disabilities. The goal of Early Intervention is to identify an issue early so children can be treated as soon as possible – while their brain is still developing- and before problems become more severe and harder to address. Nearly 14,000 youngsters are receiving treatment at any given time and 27,000 New Jersey families benefitted from the system last year.

In early 2017 the state hired Public Consulting Group (PCG) to develop and implement a centralized web-based system for agency billing and management and family portals, designed to provide real-time payment to providers. When the system went live on December 1, 2017, problems arose immediately. Children and families already receiving services didn’t show up in the new database, recent claims couldn’t be entered properly and both the billing a payment process stalled. By March of 2018, EIPA members were getting properly paid for about half of their claims. Many of the problems stemmed from the fact that the data from the old system was not integrated into PCG’s model.

The current administration, with support from the New Jersey Legislature helped ease the burden, starting in early 2018 by fronting more than $44 million to help pay salaries and other costs while the state addressed gliches in the new system. In the past two years, the Department of Health (NJDOH) has made significant progress to reverse the negative trajectory of a once imploding system. NJDOH’s transparency and willingness to dialogue has helped create a positive working relationship with the Early Intervention Provider Association (EIPA) to help solve the many challenges moving forward.

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