Medicaid, Education and the Law
Learn how to access Medicaid and Education funding simultaneously for children who need behavioral treatment in school and at home.
On November 11, 2011 the Institute for Behavior Change sponsored a full day seminar at the Wyndham Garden hotel in Exton, Pennsylvania that explored Medicaid and Education funding, children's rights to seek and stop treatment services, parental rights in the education and medical treatment realms, and explained how parents can increase the potency of their child's treatment by combining educationally funded and Medicaid funded treatment simultaneously. The program received excellent reviews from the 50 attendees. The speakers included:
Attorney Sonja Kerr, Director of the prestigious Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) which has long worked to secure access to Medicaid services for children and recently brought litigation against the Philadelphia School District over the placement of children with Autism spectrum disorders, has more than 20 years of national expertise in disabilities rights litigation. She presented on public funding of educational advocacy and behavioral treatment.
Attorney Dennis McAndrews, a leading figure in the education law field in Pennsylvania for many years, explained the parallel Special Education regulations that require the addressing of behavioral issues in school and the regulations which address Medicaid reimbursement to schools for the delivery of mental health and behavioral treatment services.
Attorney Charles Pugh, who has assisted many parents of special needs children in Pennsylvania to obtain appropriate instruction and related services at school, offered recommendations to improve the probability of success in negotiations with schools regarding a child’s special education needs.
Attorney Thomas Sweeney presented information about Pennsylvania's Act 147 which gives children over the age of 14 the authority to begin or end mental health and substance abuse treatment without parental consent, and allows them to control access to their clinical records.
New York University School of Law Research Scholar Mary Holland, who has been studying parental rights and child responses to the increasing use of vaccinations and is the Founder and Director of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA), presented information regarding parental authority over the medical treatment of their children with EBCALA colleague Todd Rosenbaum.
Executive Director of the Institute for Behavior Change, Steven Kossor, who consults nationally regarding Medicaid and Educational funding for children's mental health treatment, provided information about successful treatment programs that have been implemented collaboratively in children's homes and schools, funded by Medicaid since 1992.
Attorneys Lori Unumb and Daniel Unumb wrote the groundbreaking legal textbook Autism and the Law that thoroughly describes and analyzes the Medicaid and Education laws, policies and procedures that have shaped the delivery of education, mental health treatment and behavioral support services to children with Autism and related disabilities in America from the mid-1960s though 2010. They presented the keynote address about how “Medically Necessary” is defined in the law – and the implications of insurance companies and others using more restrictive alternative definitions.
The program was oriented to parents, legislators, behavioral health providers, attorneys, special education advocates and school officials -- anyone who wanted to increase their ability to make necessary treatment services available to children with Special Education needs. A candid discussion about the pitfalls of advocating for children who need mental health and behavioral support services in schools was offered by a panel consisting of Sonja Kerr, Dennis McAndrews and Charles Pugh. Parents learned about expansions and limitations to their authority that have been established in Pennsylvania and elsewhere over the past decade and were introduced to tools and strategies that have been successful in obtaining and maintaining funding for successful mental health treatment and behavioral support services in the home, school and community. Continuing Legal Education and Continuing Education Credits for psychologists, educators and other professionals were available. The program was recorded for distribution in early 2012. Attendees can obtain the DVD set for $30. All others $75.
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