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Florida Early Intervention Definitions G-L

Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)           

A health FSA allows employees to be reimbursed for medical expenses. FSAs are usually funded through voluntary salary reduction agreements with an individual’s employer. No employment or federal income taxes are deducted from the contribution. The employer may also contribute. Health FSAs are employer-established benefit plans. These may be offered in conjunction with other employer-provided benefits. Employers have complete flexibility to offer various combinations of benefits in designing their plan. An individual does not have to be covered under any other health care plan to participate. Self-employed persons are not eligible for an FSA.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)           

In an HMO members pay a monthly fixed dollar amount (similar to an insurance premium), which gives them access to a wide range of health care services. In many cases, members also pay a predetermined amount, or copayment, for each doctor or emergency room visit and for prescription drugs, rather than paying the provider in full and obtaining a portion of the reimbursement later. Members must use the HMO’s network of providers, which may include the doctors, pharmacies and hospitals under contract with that particular HMO.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)           

A health HRA must be funded solely by an employer. The contribution cannot be paid through a voluntary salary reduction agreement on the part of an employee. Employees are reimbursed tax free for qualified medical expenses up to a maximum dollar amount for a coverage period. An HRA may be offered with other health plans, including FSAs.

Health Savings Account (HSA)      

A health savings account is a tax-exempt trust or custodial account set up with a qualified HSA trustee to pay or reimburse certain medical expenses. To be eligible and qualify for an HSA, an individual must be covered under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) on the first day of the month.  The eligible individual must have no other health coverage except the following:  liabilities incurred under workers’ compensation laws, tort liabilities, or liabilities related to ownership or use of property; coverage for a specific disease or illness; coverage for a fixed amount per day (or other period) of hospitalization.  Coverage for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, and long-term care is also allowed. The eligible individual must not be enrolled in Medicare and cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

Health Services         

Services necessary to enable a child to benefit from the other early intervention services during the time that the child is receiving the other early intervention services.

Such services as clean intermittent catheterization, tracheostomy care, tube feeding, the changing of dressings or colostomy collection bags, and other health services; and Consultation by physicians with other service providers concerning the special health care needs of eligible children that will need to be addressed in the course of providing other early intervention services.

The term does not include the following:

    • Services that are:
      •  Surgical in nature (such as cleft palate surgery, surgery for club foot, or the shunting of hydrocephalus); or
      • Purely medical in nature (such as hospitalization for management of congenital heart ailments, or the prescribing of medicine or drugs for any purpose).
    • Devices necessary to control or treat a medical condition.
    • Medical-health services (such as immunizations and regular `well-baby'' care) that are routinely recommended for all children. 

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)      

A high deductible health plan (HDHP) has a higher annual deductible than typical health plans and a maximum limit on the sum of the annual deductible and out-of-pocket medical expenses that must be paid for covered expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses include copayments and other amounts, but do not include premiums.


Homeless children and youth meet the definition of homeless children in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and includes individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence including those who are:  sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship or a similar reason; living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds, due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations, or are living in emergency or transitional shelters, or abandoned in hospitals, or are awaiting foster care placement; who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a sleeping accommodation for human beings; living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and migratory children who qualify as homeless as defined above.


A broad concept that includes eligibility determination, child find and public awareness.

Individual Educational Plan (IEP)

A written plan that describes the specially designed instruction and related services which will be provided to that student. Used by local school districts.

Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) Process          

A family-centered planning process based on evaluation and assessment involving the family, evaluators, the service coordinator, service providers and others, which results in a written plan of early intervention services to meet the identified outcomes for an individual child and family.  IFSP services are implemented as soon as possible once parental consent is obtained.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B         

A federal program that requires states to provide free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to students with disabilities from age three through twenty-one.  Eligibility criteria are mandated through federal and state regulations, and services are supported with public funds.  Also see Pre-kindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C         

A federal program that states participate in voluntarily, that requires states to provide a statewide, community based, comprehensive, coordinated, family-focused, multidisciplinary, interagency program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, with established conditions or developmental delays and their families.

Informed Clinical Opinion

The use of both quantitative and qualitative information that has been gathered about a child to assist in making a determination regarding the child's developmental status. Informed clinical opinion makes use of multiple sources of information, such as parent input, medical records, and other information that has been gathered about a child. Informed clinical opinion is always the consensus of the multidisciplinary team, and not the judgment of only one member. 

Initial Contact          

The initial contact (most often a telephone call) is to occur within 5 working days of the referral.  This is the first time an LES representative makes contact with the family to inform them that a referral has been received and advise them of next steps in the process.


The number of days or sessions that a service will be provided (frequency) and whether the service is provided on an individual or group basis.  Intensity is stated in specific and measurable terms.

Interagency Agreement       

A written document, which outlines roles and responsibilities of collaborative, interagency community groups that have the charge and authority to make decisions and define mandates regarding policies and procedures for infants, young children, and their families.

Interim Individualized Family Support Plan           

A plan used in unique situations to serve as the vehicle for authorizing the initiation of early intervention services prior to the completion of evaluations, determination of eligibility and the development of the initial Individualized Family Support Plan.


A reason that constitutes sufficient grounds, proof that an action is just or valid; a reasonable explanation.


The length of time the service is provided during each session of that service (such as an hour or other specified time period).

Licensed Health Care Professional

A licensed practitioner of the healing arts who practices a discipline that is regulated by the Florida Statutes and licensed by the Department of Professional Regulation.

Local Early Steps (LES) Office      

The local organization that contracts with Department of Health, Children's Medical Services to ensure provision of early intervention services in a designated geographic area and is responsible to fulfill federal, state and local policies in the implementation of services.

LEA/school district 

The Local Educational Agency is the local school district in which the child resides, which is responsible for the provision of Part B specially designed instruction and related services and has the option of serving infants and toddlers with an established condition or developmental delay, birth to age three, as an ES provider.  In Florida, counties are equivalent with the school districts.


The actual place or places where a service will be provided.


Florida Early Steps Policy Manual Definitions

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