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civil practice law and rules, the court may grant any relief authorized by the provisions of section seventy-eight hundred six of such law and rules and also may, in its discretion, remand the proceedings to the department for further consideration upon a finding that any relevant and material evidence is then available which was not previously considered by the department.

(b) A parent who, after completing mediation, substantially prevails in an impartial hearing or a judicial challenge to an order or determination under this title shall be entitled to reimbursement for reasonable attorney's fees incurred in

such

impartial hearing judicial challenge provided, however, that the parent shall only be entitled to reimbursement for such fees for prevailing in an impartial hearing if the municipality was

represented by an attorney at such impartial hearing

8. (a) The early intervention official shall maintain the confidentiality of all personally identifiable information regarding the children and families receiving early intervention services. The early intervention official shall ensure that no information regarding the conditions, services, needs, or other individual information regarding a child and family is communicated to any parties other than the service coordinator and service providers currently serving the child and family, without the express written consent of the parent.

(b) Providers of service to eligible children and families shall maintain the confidentiality of all personally identifiable information regarding children and families receiving their services. The provider shall ensure that no information regarding the condition, services, needs, or any other individual information regarding a child and family is released to any party other than the early intervention official without the express written consent of the parent, except as specifi, cally permitted in the coordinated standards and procedures, which shall additionally ensure that the requirements of federal or state law which pertain to the early intervention services of the state early intervention service agencies have been maintained.

(c) This section shall not prohibit disclosure otherwise required by law.

$ 2550. Responsibilities of lead agency. 1. The lead agency is responsible for the general administration and supervision of programs and activities receiving assistance under this title, and the monitoring of programs and activities used by the state to carry out this title, whether or not such programs or activities are receiving assistance made available under this title, to ensure that the state complies with the provisions of this title.

2. In meeting the requirements of subdivision one of this section, the lead agency shall adopt and use proper methods of administering

the early intervention program, including:

(a) compiling and disseminating to the municipalities lists of approved evaluators, service coordinators and providers of early intervention services;

(b) monitoring of agencies, institutions and organizations under this title and agencies, institutions and organizations providing early intervention services

which are under the jurisdiction of a state early intervention service agency;

(c) enforcing any obligations imposed on those agencies under this title or Part Ħ of the federal individuals with disabilities education act and its regulations;

(d) providing training and technical assistance to those agencies, in-, stitutions and organizations, including initial and ongoing training and technical assistance to municipalities to help enable them to identify, locate and evaluate eligible children, develop IFSPs, ensure the provision of appropriate early intervention services, promote the development of new services, where there is a demonstrated need for such services and afford procedural safeguards to infants and toddlers and their families; (e) Correcting deficiencies

that are identified through monitoring; and

(f) in monitoring early intervention services, the commissioner shall provide municipalities with the results of any review of early intervention services undertaken and shall provide the municipalities with the opportunity to comment thereon.

3. The commissioner, through comprehensive system of personnel development, shall promote the availability of qualified personnel to

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provide evaluations and early intervention services to eligible children and their families.

§ 2551. Coordinated standards and procedures. 1. The state early intervention service agencies shall jointly establish coordinated standards and procedures for:

(a) early intervention services and evaluations; (b) child find system and public awareness program; and (c) programs and services, operating under the approval authority of any state early intervention service agency, which include any early intervention services or evaluations. 2. Such coordinated standards and procedures shall be designed to: (a) enhance the objectives of this title, including the provision of services in natural environments to the maximum extent possible;

(b) minimize duplicative and inconsistent regulations and practices abong the state early intervention service agencies;

(c) conform, to the extent appropriate, to existing standards and procedures of state early intervention service agencies, and

(d) ensure that persons who provide early intervention services are trained, or can demonstrate proficiency in principles of early childhood development.

3. Coordinated standards and procedures may include guidelines suggesting appropriate early intervention services for enumerated disabilities that are most frequently found in eligible children.

4. Coordinated standards and procedures may encompass or allow for agreements among two or more such agencies.

5. Any standards promulgated by regulation or otherwise by any state early intervention service agency governing early intervention services or evaluations shall be consistent with the coordinated standards and procedures.

6. In the event of an inability to agree upon any coordinated standard or procedure, any state early intervention service agency may refer the

sue to the early intervention coordinating council for its advice with respect to the standard or procedure which the council shall provide to the early intervention service agencies affected by the issue.

The commissioner, after obtaining, such advice, , shall adopt an appropriate standard or procedure, provided however, that the commissioner may adopt an interim standard or procedure while awaiting, such advice. 7. Coordinated standards and procedures shall provide that any agency which is an approved program or service provider under section

fortyfour hundred ten of the education law, and which also plans to provide early intervention services may apply to the commissioner of education for approval to provide such services. Such approval shall be granted based on the agency's compliance with

the coordinated standards and procedures for early intervention services and, where applicable, education certifications.

8. The early intervention service agencies, in consultation with the
director of the budget, shall, where appropriate, require as a condition
of approval that evaluators and providers of early intervention services
participate in the medical assistance program.
9. The coordinated standards and procedures shall permit such evalua-
tors and providers of services to rely on subcontract's or other written
agreements with qualified professionals, agencies employing such
professionals, provided that such professionals perform their responsi-
bilities in conformance with regulations of the commissioner and that
providers and evaluators fully disclose any such arrangements, including
any financial or personal interests, on all applications for approval.

nie. Coordinated standards and procedures may identify circumstances
and procedures under which an evaluator service provider

may be disqualified under this title, including procedures whereby a municipality may request such disqualification. 2552. Responsibility of municipality. 1. Each municipality shall be

contained responsible for ensuring that the early intervention services in an IFSP are provided

to eligible children and their families who reside in such municipality and may contract with approved providers of early intervention services for such purpose.

2. After consultation with local early intervention officials, the
commissioner shall develop procedures to permit a municipality, to
tract or otherwise make arrangements with other municipalities for an
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eligible child and the child's family to receive services from such other municipalities.

3. The municipality shall monitor claims for service reimbursement authorized by this title and shall verify such claims prior to payment. The municipality shall inform the commissioner of discrepancies in billing and when payment is to be denied or withheld by the county. shall establish an early intervention coordinating council.

(b) The council shall consist of twenty-six members, unless otherwise required by federal law, appointed by the governor. At least five bers shall be parents, four of whom shall be parents of children with disabilities aged twelve or younger and one of whom shall be parent of a child with disabilities aged six or younger; at least five shall be representatives of public or private providers of early intervention vices; at least one shall be involved in personnel preparation or training; at least two shall be local early intervention officials; at least two shall be members of the legislature; six shall be the commissioner and the commissioners of education, social services, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, mental health, alcoholism and substance abuse services and the superintendent of insurance, ,or their appropriate designees with sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of their agencies.

(c) The governor shall appoint eight members on the recommendation of the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly, each of whom shall recommend four members as follows: one parent of a child with disabilities age twelve or younger; one representative of public or private providers of early intervention services; one member of the legislature; and one local early intervention official. The governor shall appoint four members on the recommendations of the minority leader of the assembly and the minority leader of the senate,

each of whom shall recommend two members as follows: one parent of a child with disabilities age twelve or younger; one representative of public or private providers of early intervention services.

(d) The governor shall designate a chairperson from among the members of the council. All members shall serve for terms of three years.

Such terms shall be established so that the terms of no more than one-third of the members of the council expire each year.

2. The council shall:

(a) assist the lead agency in the effective performance of the lead agency's responsibilities set out under this title, including:

(i) identifying the sources of fiscal support for early intervention services and programs, assignment of financial responsibility to the appropriate agency and promotion of interagency agreements;

(ii) preparing pplications and amendments required pursuant to federal law;

(b) advise and assist the commissioner and other state early interven, tion service agencies in the development of coordinated standards and procedures pursuant to section twenty-five hundred fifty-one of this title in order to promote the full participation and cooperation of such agencies;

(c) advise and assist the commissioner and the commissioner of education regarding the transition of toddlers with disabilities to services provided under section forty-four hundred ten of the education law, to the extent such services are appropriate;

(d) advise and assist the commissioner in identifying barriers that impede timely and effective service delivery, including advice and sistance with regard to interagency disputes; and

(e) prepare and submit an annual report to the governor and legislature on the status of the early intervention program.

3. The council shall meet at least four times a year. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson and shall be called at the request of the commissioner.

4. At least sixty days prior to the commissioner's final approval of rules and regulations pursuant to this titlę, other than emergency, rules and regulations, the commissioner shall submit proposed rules and regų lations to the council for its review. The council shall review all proposed rules and regulations and report its recommendations thereon to the commissioner within sixty days. The commissioner shall not act in a manner inconsistent with the recommendations of the council without first providing the reasons therefor. The council, upon a majority vote of its members, may require that an alternative approach to the proposed rules and regulations be published with a notice of the proposed rules

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and regulations pursuant to section two hundred two of the state administrative procedure act. When an alternative approach is published pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall state the reasons for not selecting such alternative approach.

5. The members of the council shall be allowed their reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder,

§ 2554. Local early intervention coordinating councils. A local early intervention coordinating council shall

be established in each municipality. The council shall

consist

of members appointed by the early intervention official. At least four members of each council shall be parents of infants or toddlers with disabilities or of children aged three through twelve with disabilities. Each council shall also include at least three public or private providers of early intervention services, at least one child care provider or representative of child providers, the chief executive officers or their designees of the municipality's departments of social services, health and mental hygiene, representative from the local developmental disabilities services office and a representative from one or more committees preschool special education of local school districts in the municipality. A local body which has been previously constituted may serve this purpose if it has the appropriate members. The commissioner, in his or her discretion, may waive one or more of the foregoing membership composition requirements in those municipalities where such requirements cannot reasonably be

2. The local early intervention coordinating council shall meet, Open forun, at least four times a year

for its first two years

of existence.

3. The council shall advise the local early intervention official regarding:

(a) the planning for, delivery and assessment of the early interven-
tion services for eligible children and their families, including the
transition from early intervention services to services and programs un-
der section forty-four hundred ten of the education law and other early
childhood programs;

(b) the identification of service delivery reforms needed to promote
the availability of early intervention services within natural environ-
nents;
(c) the coordination of public and private agencies; and
(d) such other matters relating to early intervention policies and
procedures within the municipality as are brought to its attention by
parents, providers, public agencies or others.
4. The council will report annually to the early intervention official
on the adequacy of the early intervention system to

the avail-
ability of family centered, coordinated services; and interface with
other existing planning bodies that serve like populations.
92555. Payment methodology. 1. The commissioner shall reimburse eval-
uators and providers of early intervention services pursuant to a meth-
odology or methodologies established pursuant to a chapter of the laws
of nineteen hundred ninety-three,
2. The commissioner, in consultation with the task force described in
subdivision three of this section, shall develop proposed payment
methodology for evaluations and early intervention services to be imple-
pented on September first, nineteen hundred ninety-three. On before
January thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety-three, the commissioner
shall submit a proposal thereon to the governor and the legislature.
3. (a) The department of health shall convene a task force to recom-
pend payment methodologies to reimburse adequately the cost of services

to this article. Such methodologies shall promote the efficient, economical, predictable and stable delivery of early intervention services. The task force shall be comprised of members including: (i) representatives of state agencies involved in early inCervention services; (ii) four representatives of statewide or regional provider organizations; (iii) four representatives of counties and local government; and (iv) four parents of children receiving early intervention or preschool services.

(b) The recommendation shall include, but not be limited to the following: (1) the responsibility of state agencies, including, but not limited to, the office of mental retardation and developmental disabiliEXPLANATION-Matter in italics is new; matter

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ties, the department of social services, the office of mental health, the department and the state education department for setting rates or fees for programs or services provided in group or individualized settings to children and families under their jurisdiction; (ii) maximizing the use of existing cost reports in order to minimize the duplication of billing, reporting and accounting responsibilities to provider agencies, state agencies and local governments for purposes of carrying out the purposes of this section; (iii) the manner by which sliding fee scales for parents can be implemented; and (iv) maximizing the efficient use of resources.

(c) The task force shall submit its recommendations to the governor, the majority leader of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly no later than November thirtieth, nineteen hundred ninety-two.

§ 2556. Administrative cost's. On or after July first, nineteen hundred ninety-four, and annually thereafter, municipalities shall be eligible for reimbursement for administrative costs exclusive of due process costs incurred during the preceding year pursuant to this title. Such reimbursement shall be made in the first instance from any federal funds available for suc purpose, as determined by the commissioner. To the extent that such federal funds are not sufficient or available to reimburse a municipality for such administrative costs, reimbursement shall be made with state funds in an amount up to, but not exceeding, one hundred dollars for each eligible child served in such preceding year.

§ 2557. Financial responsibility and reimbursement. 1. The approved costs for an eligible child who receives an evaluation and early intervention services pursuant to this title shall be a charge upon the municipality wherein the eligible child resides or, where the services are covered by the medical assistance program, upon the social services district of fiscal responsibility with respect to those eligible children who are also eligible for medical assistance. All approved costs shall be paid in the first instance and at least quarterly by the appropriate governing body or officer of the municipality upon vouchers presented and audited in the same

the

of other claims against the municipality. Notwithstanding the insurance law or regulations thereunder relating to the permissable* exclusion of payments for services under governmental programs, no such exclusion shall apply with respect to payments made pursuant to section twenty-five hundred fiftyfive of this title. Nothing in this section shall increase or enhance coverages provided for within

insurance contract subject to the provisions of this title.

2. The department shall reimburse the approved costs paid by a municipality for the purposes of this title, other than those reimbursable by the medical assistance program or by third party payors, in an amount of fifty percent of the amount expended in accordance with the rules and regulations of the commissioner. Such state reimbursement to the municipality shall not be paid prior to April first of the year in which the approved costs are paid by the municipality.

3. Such state aid reimbursement or portion thereof may be withheld if, on post-audit and review, the commissioner finds that the early intervention services

not provided or those provided were not in substantial conformance with the rules and regulations established by the commissioner or that the recipient of such services was not an eligible child as defined in section twenty-five hundred forty-one of this title. In the event that the commissioner determines that there may be a withholding of state reimbursement to any municipality under this section, he shall inform the state early intervention coordinating council and the relevant local early intervention coordinating, council and shall consider alternative courses of action recommended within sixty days by either body prior to withholding state reimbursement.

4. Each municipality may, perform an audit, which may include site visitation, of evaluators and providers of such services within its municipality in accordance with standards established by the commissioner. The municipality shall submit the results of any such audit to the commissioner for review and, if warranted, ad justments in state aid reimbursement pursuant to subdivision three of this section,

well

for recovery by the municipality of its share of any disallowances identified in such audit.

§ 2558. Responsibility for certain temporary-resident infants and toddlers with disabilities. 1. Definitions. In addition to the definitions

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