Please forward this newsletter to your colleagues and encourage them to join the Network!

Network News

Network members and other advocates gathered in Sacramento on April 18 for a legislative briefing sponsored by Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. The briefing informed policymakers about the challenges facing children with special health care needs and their families. Among the topics covered: access to pediatric specialists, demographics of CSHCN in California, pediatric benefits in health insurance exchanges, and family experiences. For more information and to see the speakers' presentations, click here. The briefing’s organizers have developed an initial list of policy recommendations.

California Health Policy
TODAY: Webinar on Access to Pediatric Subspecialty Care in California
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research hosts a webinar at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time today to discuss new research examining disparities in access to pediatric subspecialty care in California by insurance coverage, geographic location, race/ethnicity, and language. The research was sponsored by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. For more information on the research and the webinar, click here.

Healthy Families to Medi-Cal Managed Care Transition
A state health official has voiced concerns over how well California is monitoring a landmark transition of hundreds of thousands of children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal managed care insurance. As David Gorn reports for California Healthline, Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board executive director Janette Casillas noted that the low number of complaints or grievances that the Department of Health Care Services has received during the transition may mean that complaints are going elsewhere, perhaps to insurers who have not provided the state with information about the patient complaints they receive. In addition, Casillas said that the number of already-transitioned children receiving autism, dental and mental health services – only 418 out of more than 600,000 – seems lower than it should be.

Gorn also reports that some autistic children participating in Healthy Families probably will lose applied behavioral analysis services as they transition to Medi-Cal managed care plans. Some families may need to reapply for these services through the state’s regional centers, and some may no longer be eligible, according to Toby Douglas, director of the Department of Health Care Services.  

Click here for more analysis of the potential challenges of the Healthy Families to Medi-Cal transition for children with special health care needs.

National Health Policy
Obama Administration Releases FY2014 Budget
In a new blog post, the Georgetown Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families analyzes how the Administration’s 2014 budget proposal would affect Medicaid, CHIP, safety net hospitals and other programs important to children with special health care needs and their families.

Grant Opportunity
The Center for Research in Emotional and Social Health is accepting applications for projects that target the social and emotional health of children and families. People and organizations providing direct services to children and families are eligible to apply. Applications are due May 10.

New Resources
Issue Brief: A Triple Aim Practice for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health

Issue Brief: Forging Community Partnerships to Improve Health Care: The Experience of Four Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, The Commonwealth Fund

Enroll America: This is a new online resource for people working to help Americans sign up for soon-to-be-mandatory health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers: new book from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Medicaid Per Capita Caps Jeopardize the Health of Children and Other Vulnerable Populations: First Focus

In the News — Children with Special Health Care Needs
Paying for Finn: A Special-Needs Child
Jeff Howe, Money Magazine, April 22

Nearly Half of Adolescents Lack a Patient-Centered Medical Home
Juliana Bunim, UCSF News, April 19

The Many Faces of Caregiving
John Schall, Caregiver Network, WebMD, April 12

In Gun Debate, No Rift on Better Care for Mentally Ill
Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, April 12

Kids and the Affordable Care Act: A High-Stakes Recipe for Success
Wendy Lazarus, The Children’s Partnership, Huffington Post, April 10

New Research
Systematic Review of Positive Youth Development Programs for Adolescents With Chronic Illness, Pediatrics, April 2013

Keep in Touch
Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. E-mail Network Manager Janis Connallon at at with your news or updates.