Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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Executive Order 98-12
October 19, 1998


WHEREAS, the Early Intervention Program was created by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-Part C, and implemented in Rhode Island by R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13-22, to provide a comprehensive array of educational, developmental, health and social services to infants and meddlers who are disabled, developmentally delayed or at significant risk of developmental delay; and

WHEREAS, Title XIX of the Federal Social Security Ace (Medicaid) provides an entitlement for children to a comprehensive array of medically necessary Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Services, including services provided by the Early Intervention Program; and

WHEREAS, Medicaid is a significant funding source of the Early Intervention, both directly and through its Rite Care health plans; and

WHEREAS, the services provided by Early Intervention are not typically included in the benefits plans of commercial insurers; and

WHEREAS, there is present concern as to whether the Early Intervention Program is adequately supported to meet its programmatic goals.

NOW THEREFORE, I, LINCOLN ALMOND, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, hereby order as follows:

1. There is hereby established a Commission to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Early Intervention Program, including an assessment of the capacity of the Program to provide the full array of services required.

2. The Commission's inquiry shall include, but shall not be limited Co, a comparison of the scope of services currently required by the population served by Early Intervention to those services currently provided, including an assessment of actual outcomes/benefits, a review of the timeliness of referral and treatment/service provision for newborns with critical/urgent needs, a review of the opportunity for connection with and referral to other programs serving this population, such as Head Start, Special Education, and Rite Care, the capacity of the service delivery system to deliver and monitor the program, and the adequacy of funding for the program.

3. The Commission shall consist of twenty-two (22) members, as follows: the Director of the Department of Health; the Director of the Department of Human Services; the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Director of the Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals; a member of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; a member of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Majority Leader; sixteen (16) public members chosen by the Governor. The chairperson of the Commission shall be appointed by the Governor.

4. The Department of Health and the Department of Human Services shall furnish such information, staff and technical support as may be requested by the Commission.

5. The Commission shall complete its work and issue a report of its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than January 31, 1999. The report shall detail the successes as well as the deficiencies of the Early Intervention Program in meeting its program goals; and further, shall provide recommendations to enhance and improve the program, and identify the actions required to implement the recommendations of the Commission.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon the date hereof.

So Ordered:

Lincoln Almond