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Article's Author Jeff Eckhart | Article's Date September 29, 2021

Gearing Up For NASDSE

Solutions for education with child and the Leader Services logo

We are getting ready to attend another long-standing conference event: the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Conference. This year, the event is being held virtually from October 19-21, 2021. A new format offers some great tools to ease the departure from in-person activities.

New Booth

In addition to last year's online meeting format, Leader Services will have a digital booth. We've loaded our space with multiple resources for attendees to view. We'll also have plenty of time to touch base through chat feature so visitors can ask on-the-fly questions.

Developments to Share

During our demo session, we will be sharing our new Significant Disproportionality KIAS module for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). The new module will allow the state to upload special education and enrollment data files, calculate Risk Ratios against that data by various categories, create subcategories by ethnicity, provide ability to flag LEAs for Significantly Disproportionality, review the data in graphical/data form, and also allow the entry and submission of self-assessments (and, if needed, root causes). We can't wait to discuss this specialized tool that helps states effectively comply with regulations and achieve positive outcomes.

A Poignant Theme

This year's theme for professional development couldn't be more appropriate: Relief, Relationships, and Results. Leader has been a NASDSE sponsor since 2004, and we fully support the mission and guiding principles of the organization. We're proud to play a positive role in ensuring students with disabilities will effectively live, learn, work, and participate in their communities.

We encourage visitors to make use of the chat feature available in our booth and view available materials. Michele and I are looking forward to meeting with everyone. See you soon!


State Monitoring, LS
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Article's Author Lewis Astorino | Article's Date February 24, 2021

"Virtual" Advancements

Mostly everyone in the administrative education realm is accustomed to attending yearly conferences for networking and sharing knowledge.
Lately, we are living in a digital world, and conference organizers have gotten creative with alternative formats. This is good news for companies with an Information Technology specialization. We get to shine in this arena.

Leader Services is making the most of this new model, with plans to virtually attend events like the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Conference. In our first-ever virtual booth setup, we've harnessed accessibility tools that allow us to interact with people on a much more inclusive basis. So, what's in this cyber environment?

  • Chat feature: We'll be able to receive questions and feedback in order to communicate in real time. Instead of limited Q&A sessions, we have an excellent opportunity to ensure varied and coherent responses, rather than on-the-spot verbal remarks.
  • Contact form: Anyone interested in learning more can fill out the form and receive a call back from us. Naturally, we love one-on-one time, so this booth element allows prospective clients to ask for a detailed demo of our flagship special education management software,™, and more.
  • Embedded media: We're all tired of monotonous PowerPoints, right? This format provides a more creative and esthetically engaging way to view information. A new IEPWriter™ highlights video walks you through some application details we think you'll find valuable.

We're thrilled about this new opportunity to gather with the education community, and we hope to "see" all of you at any upcoming events. For current information on our conference attendance, please visit the Conferences page of our site.


Special Education
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Article's Author Jeff Eckhart | Article's Date January 4, 2021

Delivering Service in Tough Times

For those in education, gearing up for a new school year typically includes planning lessons, activities, basic student supports, and functions of daily instruction. The 2020-2021 school year, however, began as the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting its first peak. School systems were abruptly hit with challenges they were neither built nor prepared to cope with. As schools scrambled to make sense of things, here at Leader, we assembled to meet our own challenges head-on.

Internally, Leader made several adjustments to daily business. Luckily, we were well-prepared, with several contingencies in place. The majority of essential staff transitioned to remote work, while a small amount remained in the building. Those still on site practiced social distancing, with strict procedures and sanitization efforts to protect health and safety. The Help Desk remained available for continuous support. Servers were monitored and maintained without interruption. We didn't miss a beat providing the same high level of service to our clients.

Teachers also need supports. We knew that after initial interruptions, teachers were going to need more effective ways to meet the child where he or she is. Leader got to work implementing software enhancements to all of its online systems. Each application was strengthened with features to aid not just teachers, but also administrators, providers, and states/organizations accomplish tasks in the most efficient ways possible. We added e-signatures in more areas of™ documentation, ability to complete activities like assessments digitally, and additional functionality and options relevant to emergency remote learning. We also ramped up efforts to complete scheduled upgrades to system features.

We've been staying connected to accommodate the evolving scenarios and needs of our clients. Our trainings moved to a virtual platform and focus group meetings were delivered via videos with feedback compiled for review. Careful consideration has been given to incoming feedback and requests throughout the process these past few months. We wanted to be sure service was never delayed or strained at an already difficult time.

We're happy to ease some of your burden with access to online systems. We continue examining unique factors affecting our clients and update systems as necessary. Leader is always here to support you.


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Article's Author Patti McIntyre | Article's Date February 14, 2020

(SPA) 15-021 Refresher

California’s Medicaid State Plan is a contractual agreement between the State of California and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The State Plan contains all information necessary for CMS to determine if the state can receive Federal Financial Participation (FFP) for its Medicaid program (Medi-Cal). Any changes to the program require an amendment to the State Plan.

The Local Educational Agency Medi-Cal Billing Option Program (LEA BOP) is authorized in the State Plan. Amendment (SPA) 15-021 made the following additions to the LEA BOP:

  • Orientation & Mobility
  • Respiratory
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Physician Assistant
  • Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker
  • Registered Dietician
  • Registered Marriage & Family Therapist Intern
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner
  • Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
  • Activities of Daily Living (Nursing and School Health AideServices)
  • Group Treatment Services (OT and PT)
  • Nutritional Services
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Respiratory Therapy Services
Random Moment Time Survey

Methodology to capture the amount of time spent providing direct health services by qualified health practitioners that participate in the LEA BOP.

No Limits

Removed the reimbursement limitation for non-IEP/IFSP services to claim beyond the current 24 service units in a 12-month period for students without an IEP/IFSP.

Expanded Reimbursement

Includes covered services under an Individualized Health and Support Plan, which allows LEAs to receive reimbursement for eligible beneficiaries without an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP). Results in increased services for Medi-Cal eligible general education students.

For additional information, please contact the CA team at: [email protected]


Medicaid Reimbursement, CA
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Article's Author Patti McIntyre | Article's Date February 14, 2020

Understanding LEA BOP & RMTS

Why did DHCS integrate the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Options Program (LEA BOP) into the existing Random Moment Time Survey (RMTS)?
In September 2015, DHCS submitted Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) 15-021 to CMS with the goal of increasing LEA reimbursement. Objectives:

  • Cover Medi-Cal eligible students regardless of special education status, which includes coverage of certain Non-IDEA health services
  • Expand covered LEA BOP services
  • Expand covered LEA BOP practitioners

As a term and condition of SPA 15-021, DHCS agreed to implement a combined cost allocation methodology (RMTS) for SMAA & LEA BOP reimbursement. This ensures no duplication of payment between the two programs. Time results of the RMTS are applied to the LEA Cost and Reimbursement Comparison Schedule (CRCS). LEAs will continue to submit LEA BOP claims to Medi-Cal in the current method.
NOTE: All LEAs planning to continue billing in the LEA BOP are required to participate in RMTS. The only exception: LEAs that contract out for ALL direct heath care services are not required to participate in RMTS.

What is Random Moment Time Survey (RMTS)?
RMTS is a statistical sampling methodology that is commonly used across the country. It estimates the percentage of a Time Study Participant’s (TSP) work day spent providing various tasks, educational instructions, direct medical services, and administration activities that support the program. A web-based system randomly selects and assigns a one-minute moment to a pre-determined list of TSPs.

How does RMTS work?
Time Study Participants (TSP) are sent an e-mail and asked specific questions to identify and capture the activity they are performing at a random, specific moment in time:

  • Were you working at the time of your moment?
  • What were you doing?
  • Who were you with?
  • Why were you performing this activity?
  • Was the activity being performed related to a student assessment, as defined in the LEA Provider Manual, or pursuant to a service listed on the student’s IEP, IFSP, or Care Plan?

RMTS results are administered 3x per year, on a quarterly basis.
Q1: July - September (results are Q2-4 average) | Q2: October — December | Q3: January — March | Q4: April — June

Responsibilities under RMTS:

  • Participate in the RMTS, unless all direct health care practitioners are contracted.
  • Contract through either their regional LEC or county LGA for participation in the RMTS.
  • Submit information to their LEC/LGA:
    • A list of eligible staff participating in the RMTS process
    • Verification- participants are not 100% federally funded, or out of Indirect Cost Rate (ICR)
    • Monitoring of TSP moment issued- ensure responses achieve at least 85% compliance
    • Provide school calendars and work schedules for their TSPs
  • Train the LEA Coordinators on RMTS
  • Certify the list of TSPs
  • Assign RMTS central coding staff to code moments
  • Supervise and provide oversight of the RMTS process

For additional information, please contact the CA team at: [email protected]


Medicaid Reimbursement, CA
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