Posted October 29, 2015

A newsletter to inform advocates for CSHCN about current issues and upcoming opportunities to express their opinions to policymakers and program administrators.

Stay up to date on CSHCN news by following the Foundation's Facebook and Twitter accounts.


6 Child Disability Rights Laws You Should Know
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on October 30, this blog post looks back at six key laws that have helped improve the lives of children with special health care needs. Read more.

Also see: Increased Flexibility Urged for Special Ed Funding


5Cs Recognized at National Conference of Pediatricians
Two members of the California Community Care Coordination Collaborative (5Cs) recently presented on Multiagency Collaboration to Improve Care Coordination: A County-Level Case Study of Children with Special Health Care Needs at the Community Pediatrics Poster Session of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference in Washington, DC. Read more and see the poster.



Open Enrollment Starts November 1
Check the Covered California website for information on how to apply for, renew, or change health care coverage for 2016. Open enrollment begins November 1, 2015, and ends on January 31, 2016.

Child Uninsured Rate at Historic Low
Just six percent of children in the US were uninsured in 2014 following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to data from the American Community Survey. This is a decline of seven percent from 2013. An analysis (PDF) by the Center for Children and Families at the Georgetown University Heath Policy Institute examines trends in children's insurance coverage and comments on ACA-related changes that likely contributed to this decline. See the key findings.

Also see: California Sees Largest Drop in Number of Uninsured Children

Comments Due November 9: Disability Nondiscrimination Rule in ACA
Public comments on the rule introduced by the US Department of Health and Human Services are due November 9. The proposed rule would implement Section 1557 of the ACA, providing further protections for people with disabilities from discrimination in health care services and insurance. For more information, see the September issue of Health Advocate from the National Health Law Program (NHeLP).


Materials from October 21 Advisory Group Meeeting Available
The CCS Advisory Group met last week in Sacramento. The agenda, background materials, and presentation slides are available on the Advisory Group website, along with details about the Technical Workgroups and a schedule of upcoming meetings. The full Advisory Group will next meet on January 6, 2016.

Also see: The Department of Health Care Services has released a report on health care utilization of children covered by Medi-Cal: Understanding Medi-Cal's Child Population (PDF). The report includes data on children ages 1-18 who are eligible for both Medi-Cal and the California Children's Services program..


Minimum Wage, Overtime for In-Home Supportive Services Rule Takes Effect
Minimum wage and overtime pay for home health workers providing in-home supportive services (IHSS) have been on hold in California since a federal judge in January overturned a US Department of Labor rule that would have required both provisions. The rule was upheld in August by a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, though the decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts issued an order denying home care industry groups' request to delay the rule's scheduled implementation on October 13 (enforcement to begin November 12). The California Department of Social Services is preparing to implement the law.

Read more:


Government Establishes National Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Development
The new National Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation will support the health and development of young children through mental health interventions. The Center will provide resources and technical assistance to child care centers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and other home visiting programs in order to address the social, behavioral, and physical needs of young children. Read more.


Website Features Mental Health Parity Efforts by State
A new online resource, ParityTrack, breaks down the work of all 50 states in implementing mental health parity laws. Launched through a partnership between the Kennedy Forum and the Scattergood Foundation, the site offers an overview of parity legislation by state, resources for consumers of mental health services, and information about regulatory organizations in each state, among other tools. Visit the site.

Also see:

  • The Child Mind Institute has released an interactive report on mental illness in youth, the cost to society of failing to address children’s mental health, and effectiveness of treatments. See the Children’s Mental Health Report.
  • California is one of 24 states that will receive a planning grant from the Obama administration to launch a trial program for community mental health clinics. Read Calif., Other States Nab $22.9M for Community Mental Health Clinics
  • The Office of Health Equity within the California Department of Public Health has released a statewide plan to promote health and mental health equity. Read Portrait of Promise (PDF)..


  • In 2014, there were nearly 40,000 hospitalizations for mental health issues among children and youth ages 5-19 in California. See the latest data on
  • The two most common primary diagnoses for hospital stays for children ages 0-17 in California were 1) mental diseases and disorders, and 2) asthma/bronchitis. See 2014 hospital discharge data for children in California.


Coding and Payment for Pediatricians Supporting Transition
Transition from pediatric to adult health care is a critical time for youth with special health care needs, but for health care providers, obtaining payment for providing transition services can be difficult. An article in the October issue of AAP News examines this issue and outlines coding and payment options for providers. Read the article.

Also see: Coding and Reimbursement Tip Sheet for Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care (PDF)


Connecting Partners and Resources to Prepare Youth for Careers
Tuesday, November 10
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by Federal Partners in Transition
A collaboration of federal agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration will host a webinar about federally funded resources for post-secondary education, employment, and other activities for students with disabilities.
Register by November 9.

Autism Services and Insurance: Who Pays for What Services?
Thursday, November 19
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
Hosted by the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Katie Hornberger, disability rights attorney and director of the Office of Clients' Rights Advocacy (OCRA), will discuss coverage for autism-related services, insurance deductibles, copayments, and more.



Parent Involvement in Care Coordination Collaboratives
Sponsored by Help Me Grow National Center
Presenters discuss the role of parents in care coordination collaboratives and offer strategies for parent recruitment and retention.
See the video recording.


Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. E-mail Program Associate Danielle DeCosta at with your news or updates. Newsletter Editor: Eileen Walsh

To see past issues, visit the Network Newsletter Archive.