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


Hospital Discharge Planning: Guidance for Parents, Providers
Nearly 10,000 children are discharged from U.S. hospitals every day, yet no widely used discharge standards exist. This lack of standards can undermine the quality of care and adversely affect the health and well-being of children, especially those with special health care needs. A new study, led by Dr. Jay Berry of Boston Children's Hospital and funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, provides a framework for discharge designed to ensure a child's safe return home in the best possible condition with the least likelihood of readmission. The report, which uses one child's case study to outline what parents should expect and require, suggests that discharge planning should begin from the moment of admission. Read the abstract of A Framework of Pediatric Hospital Discharge Care Informed by Legislation, Research, and Practice in JAMA Pediatrics, a related editorial on planning for hospital discharge, and a parental perspective on discharge planning, Integrating Medical Plans Within Family Life. For copies, contact Janis Connallon at
Can Grants Help Fund Care Coordination? One Grantseeker Offers a Qualified 'Yes'
Madeline Hall, Manager, Grant Development at Children's Hospital of Orange County Foundation, knows firsthand how challenging it can be to finance care coordination for children with special health care needs. In this guest post, she shares what she has learned and offers inspiration for those doing similar work. Read more.


Today: First Stakeholder Meeting on Medi-Cal Autism Coverage; Draft Plan Released
California plans to provide Behavioral Health Treatment as a covered Medi-Cal service for individuals under 21 with autism spectrum disorder, to the extent required by the federal government. As part of gaining federal approval of its plan, the Department of Health Care Services is required to seek public review and comment. The first stakeholder meeting is set for today, September 4, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, in the Auditorium. If you plan to attend in person, sign up at You can register here to participate in the teleconference. The Department has released a draft state plan amendment and a draft letter of guidance for Medi-Cal managed care plans that can be found here. Also see: Medi-Cal Autism Coverage to Start Soon.

On the Governor's Desk: Bill to Form Medi-Cal Children's Health Advisory Panel
AB 357, which would establish the Medi-Cal Children's Health Advisory Panel, awaits a decision by Gov. Brown, having passed both houses by overwhelming majorities. The panel, a successor to the Healthy Families Advisory Board, would be composed of enrollee representatives, providers, and other experts. The Department of Health Care Services opposes (PDF) the panel, noting that other Medi-Cal advisory panels already exist. Child-focused organizations are seeking support (PDF) for the Governor's signature. They point out that more than half of California children are enrolled in Medi-Cal, and AB 357 would ensure that issues specifically affecting children's access to health care services are addressed.

Reminder: Department of Health Care Services Advisory Committee Meets Sept. 11
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.

State Seeks Stakeholder Advice on Future of Developmental Centers
In response to a Health and Human Services Agency Task Force report, the Department of Developmental Services developed several proposals regarding improvements to the state's Developmental Centers that now have been signed into law. The Department is seeking stakeholder participation in developing regulations related to these initiatives. The next scheduled meeting is Sept. 10-11 in Sacramento. Learn more.



In Case You Missed It: Stakeholders Discuss Future Options for CCS
As noted in our May 15 issue, more than 50 stakeholders responded to a request to offer their thoughts on the major issues that should be addressed if changes are made to the California Children's Services (CCS) program. A report funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health that outlines their ideas remains relevant as the state gears up to address the future of CCS. If you missed it earlier, read the report.



Final Reminder: Sept. 19 Deadline for Proposals to Enhance Local Care Coordination
Proposals for a second phase of grant funding for the California Community Care Coordination Collaborative (5Cs) are now being accepted by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. The Collaborative's goal is to improve community systems of care coordination for children with complex or chronic medical conditions. Proposals are due September 19. Read the Request for Proposals. Find information about the work of current 5Cs grantees.



Covered California Plans to Offer Expanded Dental Services for Children
Covered CA, 8/20/14



  • The September edition of Complex Child focuses on the many options available to families for communication, ranging from simple picture cards to signing and sophisticated communication devices.
  • September is National Preparedness Month, and Week 2 focuses on developing preparedness actions for people with disabilities and their caregivers. Read about details and available resources.


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.

The California Coordinated Care Initiative: What Advocates Need to Know—Basics
Friday, September 19, 2014
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT
National Senior Citizens Law Center
The state of California is moving forward with implementation of the Coordinated Care Initiative, which changes the way that California's dual eligible beneficiaries and other low-income seniors and persons with disabilities get their health care. This webinar series educates advocates on the upcoming changes and how their clients will be affected. Read more and sign up. Also see: New Lawsuit Filed to Block Duals Plan.



Study: Transition to Adult Care Not Always Smooth
A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health assesses the satisfaction of chronically ill young adults who transfer from pediatric to adult care. Only about a third of patients surveyed indicated that they were very satisfied with their care. The authors note that the study illustrates the importance of taking steps to ensure that young adults with chronic conditions stay engaged with their health care. Read more.



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