Representatives Young and Landgraf, sponsors, introduced House Bill 20-1012. The bill expands eligibility for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who require out-of-home residential care through a program administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). Specifically, the bill expands the program to include children with co-occurring disorders, and to children who are at-risk of out-of-home placement. Currently, DHS only places children and who are in the custody of a county department of human services. The bill allows a parent or legal guardian of an eligible child to apply to DHS for placement. Under current law, DHS reimburses county departments that place children in the program. This bill requires DHS to reimburse the licensed facility for any placement initiated by a parent or legal guardian. Before a parent can apply to the program, a parent must first attempt to qualify the child for licensed out-of-home treatment services through Medicaid. Children covered only by private insurance are not eligible for the program. The bill also removes the priority of placements to county departments and requires DHS to place a child on the wait list if no beds are available. DHS is also required to maintain up to three emergency placement beds. Finally, the bill requires DHS to promulgate additional rules and to publish a report online by September 1, 2020. Additional rules required by the bill include rules for:
- planning for services for youth who turn 18 while in the program;
- access to behavioral health services;
- a process for selection criteria and wait list management;
- program evaluation; and
- an application process for children who are at risk of out-of-home placement but not in the custody of a county department.