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Network Member: Kris Calvin, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
What do pediatricians really want and need to best care for their young patients with special health care needs? AAP-CA’s Kris Calvin is investigating. Read more.

New to the Newsletter?
If you’d like to read additional member profiles and catch up on information about policy and resources, you’ll find links to all earlier Network newsletters here


Assembly Committee Finds Flaws in Transitions to Medi-Cal Managed Care
The Assembly Committee on Health conducted a hearing Oct. 23 with the goal of ensuring that transitions to Medi-Cal managed care are done with a maximum of consumer input and a minimum of disruption, California Healthline reports. The most recent transitions include a demonstration project for people who are dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare, and the switch of about 860,000 children from the Healthy Families program to Medi-Cal managed care. Committee Chair Richard Pan, MD, (D-Sacramento) said that with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the pending expansion of Medi-Cal coverage, transparency and accountability in these transitions could be further compromised. Toby Douglas, director of the Department of Health Care Services, said that the department had learned many lessons from the recent transitions that can help improve next rounds. Read more.

Law Offers Consumer Protection for Home Care Services
On October 13, Governor Brown signed a bill that establishes greater state oversight of the home health care industry. AB 1217 (Lowenthal-D-Long Beach) provides for the licensure of home health care organizations and the registration of home care aides. The licensure and regulation by the Department of Social Services will begin on or after January 1, 2015. The registry requires a background clearance for home care aides.  The UCLA Center on Health Policy Research recently released a study on the home health care industry.

$50 Million Award to California  
The US Department of Education recently awarded $211 million in state PROMISE grants to improve high school graduation and future employment rates for children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). The goal is to lessen the long-term dependence on SSI by offering services to support graduation and job training. The California Department of Rehabilitation will serve as the coordinating agency for the $50 million grant awarded to the state.


Community Health Centers Seek Signatures to Save Key Services
The National Association of Community Health Centers is seeking signatures on a petition to Congress and the Obama Administration to protest a proposed 70 percent cut to funding for health centers nationwide. Advocates fear that a cut of this size would force many centers to close their doors, reducing access to health care services for their clients. In California, Community Health Centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers—FQHCs) provide primary care, care coordination, periodic screening, referrals, and improved access to specialty care for children with special health care needs, regardless of a child’s insurance status. These centers serve as the medical safety net for underserved urban and rural communities. Read more about the Campaign for America’s Health Centers and view the petition in English and Spanish.


Nearly 40 percent of children ages 2-17 with special health care needs in California did not receive needed mental health services in the previous year, according to a parental survey conducted in 2011-2012. See the data.


Applications available Nov. 1
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH): Planning and Implementation and Resident Grants
Grants of up to $12,000 for individual pediatricians and up to $3,000 for pediatric residents are available from the CATCH program of the American Academy of Pediatrics for innovative initiatives to ensure that all children, especially underserved children, have medical homes and access to health services not otherwise available in their communities.

Deadline Nov 8!
R40 Maternal and Child Health Research Program
The R40 MCH Research Program supports applied and translational research relating to maternal and child health services, including services for children with special health care needs.

Apply by Dec. 6
Rural Health Network Development Grant Program
Federal awards of up to $300,000 a year are available to health care providers who work in formal networks to expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas.


Social Security Benefits for Children with Special Health Care Needs
This parent blog explains two types of benefits for which children or families may qualify: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The Seven “R”s to Transforming a Medical Practice into a Medical Home
Jennifer Lail, MD, a medical home advocate and the assistant vice-president for chronic care systems at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, offers advice on transforming practices into true medical homes.


California Managed Care Plans and the Help Center: Getting the Right Care at the Right Time
November 6, 2013
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.  PST
Sponsored by Family Voices of California

Susan Burger, Health Program Specialist at the Help Center in the California Department of Managed Health Care, will discuss your health care rights, what you can do if your requested treatment has been denied, delayed, or modified, and how the Help Center can assist you with your health plan problems or questions. Register.

Linking Evidence-based Practices in Behavioral Health Across Services Using Systems Change to Improve Quality of Life for Children and Adults with Dual Diagnosis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness)
October 28, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  PST
Sponsored by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities

The webinar will describe statewide strategies for improving behavioral health outcomes for all children by developing a framework for training and interagency communication across a variety of educational and human services. Learn more and register.


Rural Health Conference: Health Care Reform – Survive and Thrive
California State Rural Health Association
November 6-7, 2013 (Sacramento)

This conference for rural health professionals, advocates, policymakers and providers will cover a range of topics, including the Affordable Care Act, Health Information Exchanges, Medi-Cal Managed Care, and Medical Homes. Learn more and register.


Early Intervention and Medical Homes
This clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics reviews the literature that documents the value of both medical homes and early intervention programs for children at risk. It offers suggestions to support collaboration between these two systems.

California Partnerships to Improve Care for Complex Conditions
The Health Home Innovation Fund (HHIF) is a partnership among California safety net institutions that seeks to build integrated systems of care. A new report highlights the work of three HHIF collaborative projects designed to address the needs of patients with complex and chronic health conditions. The report reviews the accomplishments and challenges of programs in Petaluma, San Francisco and Santa Cruz. While these collaboratives focus on adults, some of the findings are applicable to pediatric systems.



Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. E-mail Network Manager Janis Connallon at with your news or updates. Newsletter Editor: Eileen Walsh