SED has announced a 4% increase for school age rate.
SED Updates rates for 2016:
If you go to the Rate Setting Unit’s section of the New York State Education Department’s website, you will find that the rates for the 2015/16 year have been posted. This includes 1:1 aide daily rates; evaluation per-diem rates; median salaries for the CEO, COO, and CFO; day care offsetting revenue rates; and more.
Use of Floaters:
On page 9 of the RCM, under staffing issues, it states that only those staffing patterns supported by IEP’s are allowable. This includes approved classroom ratios. Due to coverage issues (lunch, behavioral issues, staff meetings, parent meetings, etc.) many programs utilize floaters. This is deemed to be a more efficient model than bringing in substitutes, because it ensures that staff are on-site when needed. In discussion with SED, programs would need to be able to support how these floaters are being utilized (e.g. documented tracking of where and how the floaters were utilized each day) in order for them to be allowable.
Capitalization of Assets:
Most programs know that the RCM requires that purchases of assets that have a life of 2 years and more with a value of $5,000 or more must be capitalized. What many providers don’t realize is that this threshold is cumulative for the year. For example, if your program buys 10 I-Pads throughout the year at $600 each, these I-Pads would need to be capitalized, even though the individual value is only $600 each, because the cumulative total is in excess of $5,000.
Senator Carl Marcellino tapped as new education chair:
With Senator John Flanagan elected as the Senate Majority Leader, it has been reported that Senator Carl Marcellino, a Republican from Long Island, will take Flanagan’s vacated seat as the Chair of the New York State Education Committee.
This October, the medical billing world will be shifting from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Anyone billing for medical services should make sure they will be ready for the transition, otherwise they will not receive payment.
Use of School Psychologists:
On June 18th, the NY State Legislature signed a bill that would allow programs to utilize school psychologists in lieu of licensed psychologists for multidisciplinary evaluations. This bill will need to be signed by the governor to make it law. The purpose of the bill is to give programs the ability to utilize school psychologists through June 30, 2016, while a more permanent solution can be worked out.
NY City Contract:
The new NY City contract is available for both school age and preschool. One of the provisions that will significantly impact some special education providers is the new payment plan. Beginning July, 2015, providers will no longer be paid for services in the month they deliver them. Providers will now need to certify the rosters by the first day of the following month, with payments received approximately one week later. This means that providers will experience cash flow drains, as payments will be received, on average, one month later than they were received during fiscal 2014.
Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, FABFA
Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.