Rights in a Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) for Children under 21

Services for Individuals under the age of 21. Youth must have a primary diagnosis of mental illness or emotional disturbance as defined in Chapter 394, Florida Statutes and require treatment in a psychiatric residential setting.

Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) services are provided in an intensive residential setting and include: individual plan of care; crisis intervention; bio-social and or psychiatric evaluation; close monitoring by staff; medication management; individual, family, and group therapy; routine medical and dental care; certified educational programming; recreational, vocational, and behavior analysis services; and connection to community based services. These services are expected to be relatively short termed. The youth must be expected to benefit from residential treatment and a less restrictive setting is not available. All referrals must be approved by the Circuit Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program Office. SIPP is a Medicaid Waiver program.

Florida's SIPP Locations

  • Baycare Behavioral Network
  • Citrus Health Network
  • Daniel Memorial
  • Devereux Foundation
  • Florida Palms Academy
  • Palm Shores Behavioral Health Center
  • Sandy Pines
  • The Meridian
  • The Vines

SIPP Process

A designated staff person in the local Department of Children and Families (DCF) District Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) office completes referrals to the Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP). The parent, guardian, or family member will be told the availability of treatment programs in their area. The youth and the youth’s responsible party will be able to tour the facility and receive an assessment from the provider to determine if all parties involved agree that this is an acceptable course of action. Once the SAMH staff, the youth, responsible party, and the provider determine that admission is appropriate, the SIPP provider will contact the state utilization management contractor for prior authorization of the admission. Then scheduled admission is discussed.

Each provider will supply:

  • A brochure in English and other languages
  • Admission criteria

The youth will be given the choice of enrolled providers in his/her area and will be encouraged to select the closest one to his/her residence. Special needs populations will be accommodated. 

Services Provided

The Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Programs (SIPPs) offer the following services:

  • Inpatient psychiatric services for youth under the age of 21.
  • A clearly defined treatment philosophy and approach that includes:
    • Review or completion of assessments and evaluations including medical, psychiatric, neurological, psychological , social, educational and substance abuse;
    • Treatment planning developed by a team comprised of the child, child psychiatrist, parents, legal guardian or child welfare counselor, primary clinician, direct child care staff, recreational staff, school personnel, and other persons involved in the care.
    • Psychiatric and medical services including medication management and routine care services;
    • Clinical therapy services, including behavioral programming by a certified behavior analyst;
    • Therapeutic home visits with approval of a clinician and treatment team with clinical on-call support staff;
    • Parent educational and parenting classes;
    • Peer and group interaction activities;
    • Overall coordination of a child’s care while participating in the SIPP Program; detailed discharge planning;
    • Provision of outpatient aftercare;
    • Transportation;
    • Vocational Rehabilitation services; and
    • Toll free help lines for aftercare, 7 days a week/24 hours a day.

Denial of Services

Whenever the Department denies a request for service, the youth has the right to exercise a formal appeal process mandated under federal law.  The process commences with a file review but can go as far as a formal hearing known as a “fair hearing”. 

How to Request Reconsideration of the Denial

The youth, legal guardian, attending physician or provider has the right to request a formal reconsideration of any denial of services. Request for reconsideration may be submitted:

  • Through eQSuite, or 
  • By:
    • Phone: toll free number 855-977-3747
    • Fax: toll free number 855-677-3747
    • U.S. mail, sent to: 

      eQHealth Solutions, Inc
      Florida Division
      5802 Benjamin Center Dr.
      Suite 105
      Tampa, FL 33634

A reconsideration request form is posted on http://fl.eqhs.org, Inpatient tab, Forms and Downloads folder.

How to Request a Fair Hearing

A youth or the legal gaurdian can exercise his/her right to appeal the determination by submitting a request for a fair hearing.  A fair hearing is a formal process that allows each party a forum to present witnesses and evidence in support of their positions on provision of services that are at issue.  A request for a fair hearing must be sent to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). The Contact information is:

Agency for Health Care Administration
Medicaid Hearing Unit
P.O. Box 60127
Ft. Myers, FL 33906
Telephone: 1-877-254-1055 (toll-free)
Fax: 239-338-2642
E-mail: MedicaidHearingUnit@ahca.myflorida.com

Access to Care

The youth’s access to quality medical services must, at a minimum, not be adversely affected by a 1915 (b) (4) waiver program. A waiver must ensure an adequate amount of services during reasonable time periods and within reasonable geographic distance from the residence of the individual enrolled under the waiver. Furthermore, access to emergency services and family planning services must not be restricted.