A newsletter to inform advocates for CSHCN about current issues and upcoming opportunities to express their opinions to policymakers and program administrators.
Please forward the newsletter and encourage your colleagues and constituents to join the Network.


Outcome Measures/Quality Are Focus of Next CCS Redesign Technical Workgroup Meeting
Five of the six technical workgroups that will provide information and recommendations to the CCS Redesign Stakeholder Advisory Board have begun to meet. The sixth group, which focuses on Outcome Measures/Quality, will hold its kickoff webinar on Friday, April 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. Call-in number is (888) 921-8686 (listen only); passcode: 961 640 6431. The five other workgroups cover Data; Eligibility/Health Conditions; Provider Access and Provider Network; County/State Roles and Responsibilities; and Health Homes/Care Coordination/Transitions. Webinar recordings, membership lists, and background materials for each of the groups are available on the workgroups website.

The next full redesign board meeting is scheduled for May 29. Details about past and upcoming meetings are posted on the website.



Foundation Grants Support Family Advocacy, System Change
No better advocates exist for children than their own families. But parents and guardians sometimes lack the tools and confidence to make the case for the services their children require. A new grant to Family Voices of California from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health will build on two earlier grants to support advocacy training for families. Communities interested in providing training to parents of children with chronic or complex health problems can receive technical assistance from Family Voices of California. The Foundation also made several other recent grants to support a system of care that works for children and families. Read grant details (PDF).
Improving Hospital Discharge Planning—Webinar Series
The Road to Hospital Discharge Success for Children with Medical Complexity is the title of a webinar series that will launch April 7. An outgrowth of a grant from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, the series, which will be presented in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital, will offer information and resources to optimize discharge care for children with complex conditions. The first webinar will feature Dr. Marianne Weiss, who has worked with parents, nurses and physicians to create a pediatric version of the Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale. Registration already has reached capacity, but the webinar will be recorded. Learn about future topics.
See also: A Framework of Pediatric Hospital Discharge Care Informed by Legislation, Research, and Practice



Advocates Seek Independent Assessment of Medi-Cal Reimbursement Rates as State Submits 1115 Waiver
The Department of Health Care Services has submitted its request to renew the state's Section 1115 Waiver for five years. The "Medi-Cal 2020" waiver seeks $17 billion in federal funds to transform delivery systems. However, a consortium of advocacy groups has submitted a letter (PDF) to the federal government seeking an independent assessment of the state's Medi-Cal reimbursement rates as a condition of approving the waiver, stating that California's low rates hinder access to care for Medi-Cal recipients, including children. Read more in California Healthline.

Webinar to Provide Update on Health Homes Care Coordination Project
On April 15 the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host a webinar to reviews its latest concept paper for its Health Homes project, which is an effort to better coordinate care for patients with complex, chronic medical and behavioral health problems. DHCS will provide information about how to offer feedback on the Health Homes program design, which is expected to include how DHCS will address children who receive services through California Children's Services. The webinar is scheduled from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Register by April 10.



House Approves Bill that Extends Children's Health Insurance for Two Years, Implements 'Doc Fix'
In a rare bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives on March 26 approved renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program for two years as part of a legislative package to implement long-delayed adjustments to the formula for paying Medicare physicians. The bill also extends funding for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and community health centers. The Senate postponed action until it returns from recess April 13. Advocates have pressed for a four-year extension of CHIP, which expires September 30. Read more.

See also: Many Families May Face Sharply Higher Costs if Public Health Insurance for Their Children Is Rolled Back

Private Health Providers Can't Sue Over Medicaid Rates, Supreme Court Decides
In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled March 31 that private health care providers cannot sue state Medicaid agencies over low reimbursement rates, reversing a lower court ruling. The original suit, filed by Idaho providers, contended that suing over low rates is sometimes the only way to enforce federal payment requirements. Read more.

See also: After Lawsuits Nixed, California Providers Look to Other Ways to Raise Medicaid Rates



Webinar Series for Providers: Transition of Patients with Special Health Care Needs to Adult Medical Care
Seven-Part Series – Fifth segment, April 8
10 a.m. Pacific Time
Topic: The Nuts and Bolts of Documenting and Billing for Comprehensive Care
New York – Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services
Designed to give health care providers the tools and understanding necessary to care for young adults with special health care needs who are transitioning from pediatric to adult care providers. Learn more and register.



Medical Grants Available for Commercially Insured Children
United HealthCare Children's Foundation offers medical grants of up to $5,000 annually to US children age 16 and under who are insured by a commercial health plan that covers only a portion or none of their needed treatment, equipment or services. Families must meet income eligibility requirements. Read more.

Community-Pediatric Partnerships for Child Well-Being
The American Academy of Pediatrics Community Pediatrics Training Initiative will fund three projects that partner pediatric faculty and residency programs with community organizations to implement population health approaches for addressing toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences. The $35,000 grants, for 18 months, will begin July 2015. Applications are due April 21.



Kids As Self-Advocates Group Offers Listserv to Inform Youth
Family Voices and the board of Kids As Self-Advocates (KASA) have reactivated the KASA listserv to send out news, information, opportunities and resources for youth with disabilities and their allies. To join the listserv, email pcurran@familyvoices.org or bbaker@familyvoices.org.

Other useful resources:


California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth Annual Conference (CMHACY)
May 13-15
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA
Founded in 1980, CMHACY is dedicated to advancing children's mental health services in California.
Learn more and register. Fee. Early Bird Specials before April 15.



Health Insurance Inequities among Latino Families
A brief from the Catalyst Center discusses Reducing Health Insurance Inequities among Latino Families Raising Children with Special Health Care Needs, including provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

See also: ¿Cómo Están los Niños? The Health of Latino Children and Families in California



Beyond Practice: Fostering Diverse Partnerships for Successful Care Coordination
Wednesday, April 22
9 to 10 a.m. Pacific Time
National Center for Medical Home Implementation
Second of a three-part series focusing on implementation and evaluation of pediatric care coordination.
Read more and register.



Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. E-mail Newsletter Editor Eileen Walsh at Eileen.Walsh@lpfch.org with your news or updates.