House supports DeVonís bill to reduce wait times for First Steps services

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Monday, January 27, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 27, 2020) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted in support of legislation co-authored by State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) that would help Hoosier children with development delays and disabilities receive timelier care through Indiana’s First Steps program.

DeVon said the bill would streamline the insurance and enrollment process, eliminating time-consuming burdens and delays families face to get their child into First Steps. More than 30,000 infants, toddlers and their families are referred to First Steps each year, which provides families access to services like medical care, counseling, speech, physical therapy and more to help these children thrive at a crucial growing period.

“For children under the age of three who are experiencing developmental delays, First Steps can provide critical tools and support needed to more easily navigate their world today and as they continue to grow,” DeVon said. “Getting these kids into services in a timelier manner can help ensure they are not missing out on important care.”

According to DeVon, the legislation will not change what insurance can bill families or change coverage. In 2019, he supported legislation to double the funding for the program, helping more Hoosiers get access to First Steps services.

The legislation formed as a joint collaboration from therapists with the First Steps program, Family and Social Services Administration, which oversees First Steps, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Insurance, Arc of Indiana and Hoosier parents.

House Bill 1176 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, which includes portions of St. Joseph County.

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