The purpose of the Massachusetts Monitoring Process is to:
- Monitor and evaluate program compliance with federal Part C IDEA regulations;
- Monitor program compliance with Department of Public Health Early Intervention Operational Standards to ensure that eligible children and families receive timely, comprehensive, community-based services that enhance the developmental progress of children birth to three.
- Monitor and evaluate vendor and program contract activities;
- Contribute to ongoing quality improvement of programs and vendors to assure a baseline of quality services for all families participating in the Massachusetts Early Intervention system.
There are five components of the Massachusetts Focused Monitoring System:
(1) Annual Report/Self Assessment; (2) Focused Monitoring Site Visit; (3) Data Verification Process; (4) Dispute Resolution System (5) Local Determinations.
Annual Report/Self Assessment
EIPs are required to complete the Annual Report/Self Assessment every year, which is a key piece of data gathering for federal and state reporting requirements.
The information requested annually is based on the federal indicators that have been selected as target areas of the State Performance Plan. The information obtained from the Annual Report/Self Assessment is used to report on Indicators #1 of the SPP/APR and in making Local Program Determinations. Regional Specialists are available to review the results with program and vendor administrative staff. A Corrective Action and/or Quality Improvement plan is requested to address any issues of non-compliance identified through the Annual Report/Self Assessment and submitted to the Regional Specialist within 30 days of written notification.
Focused Monitoring Site Visit
Annually DPH staff will analyze priority areas and data sources.
Data Verification Process
Throughout the year, activities are completed by the lead agency to verify the reliability, accuracy and timeliness of data reported by providers to the DPH. Several methods for data verification are utilized, such as EIIS error reports, Service Delivery Report, Verification of selected indicators during Focused Monitoring, and data reports summarizing contract performance. (Refer to Data Verification Plan - Massachusetts Focused Monitoring)
Dispute Resolution System
Written complaints are investigated to determine whether there are any findings of non-compliance with IDEA. The DPH as lead agency for EI in Massachusetts sends a written response to the family, the program and the DPH Regional Specialist within 60 days. If an area of non-compliance is identified a corrective action plan is requested of the program by the Regional Specialist. Programs have one year to come into compliance. (Refer to EIOS - Procedural Safeguards))
The EIP must submit the Corrective Action or Quality Improvement plan to the Regional Specialist within identified timelines. The Regional Specialist reviews and approves the Corrective Action/Quality Improvement Plan and develops a follow-up monitoring plan as appropriate. Any areas of noncompliance must be corrected within one year from written notification.
Local Program Determinations
In making Local Program Determinations, the DPH uses the four compliance indicators, six measures for Timely and Accurate Data and two for Complaint Management issues. DPH takes into consideration the percent of Massachusetts' target population served by the program and the percent of community-based services provided.
Four Compliance Indicators
- Percent of children who receive 100% of their IFSP services provided in a timely manner
- Percent of IFSP clients for whom an evaluation, assessment and initial IFSP meeting were conducted within 45 day of the Date of Referral
- Transition planning for children leaving EI services
- Timely correction of non-compliance correction within 12 months
Timely and Accurate Data Indicators
- Submission of Annual Report on time
- Percent of clients matching EIIS on all 5 File Review data areas
- EIIS Referral and Discharge data is transmitted in a timely manner
- Percent of SDR clients that match to EIIS
- Percent of clients with no EIIS logic issues
- Percent of IFSP clients having complete EIIS data forms
Complaint Management Data
- Three or more phone calls of a similar nature to DPH in a three month period
- Findings and/or decisions in favor of a complainant derived from a Formal Administrative Complaint, and/or Due Process Hearing
The Department used the following criteria and review process for the Local Determinations:
Compliance rate is at or above 90% on all four compliance indicators 1- 4, or below 90% in only one of the non-compliance indicators 5 - 12.
Compliance rate is at or below 90% in two or three indicators; only one below in a compliance indicator 1 - 4; and any two or three below the state baseline of 90% in the non-compliance indicators 5 - 12.
Compliance rate is at or below 90% in three or four indicators with two or more in the compliance indicators 1 - 4, or four or more in noncompliance indicators 5 - 12.
Needs Substantial Intervention
Compliance rate is at or below 90% in ten or more indicators 1 -12.
The DPH will advise local EIPs that receive a "Need Assistance" determination for two consecutive years or "Needs Intervention" or "Substantial Intervention" of available technical assistance to help the EIP address areas in which the program needs assistance. The EIP will report in the Corrective Action Plan the technical assistance sources from which the EIP received technical assistance. The DPH may impose a moratorium on referrals or withhold funds to programs that fall in "Needs Intervention" or "Needs Substantial Intervention" and are unable to come into compliance in a timely manner.
Local Determinations will be completed in the spring of each year. Please note that the criteria and state baseline may change from year to year with the goal being 100% in all of the compliance indicators.
Certification and Contract Administration
Program Certification will be granted for one year. Conditional or Provisional Certification is granted to a program, upon the recommendation of the Regional Specialist and approved by the Director of Early Intervention or Part C Coordinator, to programs with significant pending corrective action plans. DPH staff review program performance in April to evaluate certifications and contracts for the next fiscal year. Programs are notified of status in June.