The Network now has more than 1,000 members. Encourage your colleagues to join today.


State Outlines Stakeholder Process on Future of CCS
As we reported in our Aug. 12 letter to the Network, the Department of Health Care Services has released a statement (PDF) about its planned stakeholder process regarding the future of California Children’s Services. The statement outlines the goal of the process, its guiding principles, and how the process will work. The first public meeting is to be scheduled in September. For ongoing information, view the Department’s website.

Department of Health Care Services Advisory Committee to Meet
The next meeting of the Department of Health Care Services Stakeholder Advisory Committee is scheduled for September 11 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Sacramento. Committee members advise on implementation of the 1115 waiver, which includes California Children’s Services. Get details.



CCS – The Nuts and Bolts of California Children’s Services
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. PDT
Family Voices
A panel of experts will explain the basics of the CCS program, how it works, strategies for improving the program, parental views, and potential changes over the next few years. Register.



September 4 Stakeholder Meeting Set on Behavioral Health Treatment
The Department of Health Care Services has announced that children insured by Medi-Cal are entitled to coverage of the therapy known as Applied Behavioral Analysis. A stakeholder meeting is set for September 4 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, in the Auditorium. To attend in person, RSVP to or register here to participate in the teleconference.

Also see: Autism Community Welcomes Coverage

Advocates Support Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel
More than 50 California organizations have signed a letter to members of the California Legislature in support of AB 357 (Pan), which will create the Medi-Cal Children's Health Advisory Panel as a successor to the Healthy Families Advisory Board. The Healthy Families program has been eliminated and the children it covered have been transferred to Medi-Cal managed care. The Department of Health Care Services opposes the bill. Read the letter.

Assemblymember Seeks Greater Transparency in Medi-Cal Services
Assemblymember Richard Pan has re-introduced AB 209, a bill that calls for a stakeholder advisory committee and quarterly public hearings on performance, utilization and other quality measures of the state’s Medi-Cal managed care services. According to California Healthline, Pan expressed frustration in an Assembly committee hearing on Aug. 12 over his own inability to obtain information from the Department of Health Care Services, which oversees the Medi-Cal program. Read more.

Also see: Legislator requests audit to investigate access issues for those enrolled in Medi-Cal managed care



Navigating the IEP
As back-to-school season gets under way, Corina Samaniego helps parents sort through the alphanumeric jargon of special education – IEPs, LREs, SELPAs, 504 plans -- and empowers them to get the educational services their children with special needs require. Read the Q&A.


New: Medicare to Pay for Care Coordination for Some Patients
In a step forward for care coordination, the Medicare program in January will begin paying monthly fees to doctors or other medical professionals who manage care for Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions. The need for assistance with care coordination frequently is listed by families of children with special health care needs as their most pressing concern, but at present such services are not covered. In a survey of Network members last year, respondents listed care coordination as a top priority. Pursuing reimbursement for care coordination for CSHCN is a goal of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, which has published reports on the subject, with others forthcoming. Read more about the Medicare coverage plan.

Autism CARES Bill Gets Presidential Signature
On August 8, President Obama signed a reauthorization of the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, which provides more than a billion dollars in federal funding through 2019. Read more.



The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Funding Announcement for governmental and non-governmental organizations to apply for grants from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. The goal is to bolster the capacity of surveillance programs to implement or enhance a population-based, multiple-source surveillance program for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Applications are due October 10. Read details and how to apply by typing in Funding Opp CDC-RFA-DD15-1501.



  • The State of California has launched an Open Data Portal that offers access to data on public health issues. The data can be used for reporting, creating Web tools and mobile applications and other uses, according to the Department of Public Health.
  • The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY), which provided resources for 20 years, is closing down. Its publications in English and Spanish will be available in future at the Center for Parent Information and Resources

Other useful resources:  




Training Program Offered to Develop Leaders in Community Clinics
The Center for the Health Professions is accepting applications for its Clinic Leadership Institute, which offers an 18-month part-time training and professional development program to develop leaders for California community clinics. The training is open to eligible staff of clinics licensed by the state of California as a Community Clinic, Free Clinic, or designated Tribal Clinic; and to eligible staff of regional area consortia (RAC). Applications are due October 31. Read details.

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