Posted January 21, 2016

A newsletter to inform advocates for children with special health care needs about current issues and upcoming opportunities to express their opinions to policymakers and program administrators.

Missed a past issue of the newsletter? You can find them all here.

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An Experiment in Local Care Coordination
Children with special health care needs generally require services from a range of providers, yet in most California counties few reliable mechanisms exist for providers to share information about their mutual clients. In 2013, the California Community Care Coordination Collaborative (5Cs) was launched to test whether agencies could be brought together to improve local care coordination and collaborate on promoting needed system changes. A new report takes a look at the results of the project's first 18 months.


Upcoming Meetings:

CCS Care Coordination/Medical Home/Provider Access Technical Workgroup Webinar
Thursday, January 28
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Meeting materials will be posted on the CCS Advisory Group website.

CCS Data & Quality Measures Technical Workgroup Webinar
Wednesday, February 3
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Time
Meeting materials will be posted on the CCS Advisory Group website.


Federal Grants to Address Health-Related Social Needs of Medicare, Medi-Cal Recipients
Unmet needs, such as food insecurity and inadequate housing, may increase the risk for individuals to develop chronic conditions and reduce their ability to manage such conditions. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a five-year, $157-million investment in grants for up to 44 organizations to create "Accountable Health Communities" projects that test whether systematically identifying and addressing the health-related social needs of beneficiaries can reduce health care costs and improve quality of care and health outcomes. Letters of intent are due by February 8. A January 27 webinar offers guidance on how to apply.

Also see: A series from the federal government on writing successful grant applications.


Two Webinars on State’s Plans for Medi-Cal 2020
California has received federal approval for a five-year, $6.2 billion 1115 Waiver Renewal, which reauthorizes Medi-Cal managed care and other state Medicaid programs. Waivers allow states flexibility to establish pilot or demonstration projects designed to improve coverage and health outcomes for beneficiaries. The new California waiver includes a range of reforms and innovations. Two webinars will provide information on the waiver’s components and what it means for patients and providers.

Waiver Transparency
Monday, January 25
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by the Department of Health Care Services

What the State’s 1115 Waiver Renewal Means for Medicaid Providers, Health Plans and Patients
Wednesday, February 3
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by Health Management Associates

Medi-Cal Children's Health Advisory Panel (MCHAP) to Meet
Wednesday, January 27
12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time
1700 K Street, 1st Floor Conference Room, Sacramento
Dial-in: 1-888-603-9605; Passcode: 5681645
Meeting materials will be posted on the MCHAP webpage.
The 15-member panel advises the Department of Health Care Services on topics that affect children covered by Medi-Cal.


Medical Home, Care Coordination Lacking for Immigrant CSHCN, Study Finds
Immigrant children in the United States historically experience lower-quality health care, and a new study published in Pediatrics finds that this disparity extends to the availability of medical homes for children with special health care needs (CSHCN). The authors also report that the component of a medical home most lacking for foreign-born CSHCN is care coordination. They suggest that efforts focused on improving family-centered care and care coordination may provide the greatest benefit for immigrant CSHCN. Read the abstract. (Pediatrics subscribers also can access the full article.)


Early Identification and Linkage for Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Thursday, January 28
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by the USC/Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD)
This webinar, part of a series on policy issues in developmental disabilities, will feature a presentation from Marian Williams, PhD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the USC UCEDD, and a question and answer session.
Learn more about the series and register for the webinar.

California Schools and the Reversal of the Medicaid "Free Care Rule"
Wednesday, February 3
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by the California School-Based Health Alliance, The California Endowment, and Harbage Consulting
In 2014, the federal government reversed its rule forbidding school districts from receiving reimbursement for health services they provide to students. A new report examines how California is implementing the change and what it may mean for the role of schools in the health care delivery system.
Register for the webinar.

Also see the report: Policy Considerations for California Following the 2014 Reversal of the Medicaid "Free Care Rule"


Planificador para una Buena Visita Médica; Well Visit Planner Available in Spanish
The Well Visit Planner, a free online tool to help families prepare for well-child visits with their care providers, now is available en Español (PDF). The planner, also available in English, can be printed and taken to a visit. It is appropriate for all children, including those with special health care needs.

Other Resources:



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