Posted February 4, 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.

Please forward the newsletter and encourage your colleagues and constituents to join the Network.


Dear Reader,

By now you should have received an e-mail requesting that you complete our brief survey about the newsletter. If you haven't yet responded, we hope you will take a few minutes to give us your thoughts. You'll also have the opportunity to provide your name and email to be entered in a drawing for $50 Amazon gift cards. Thank you.
– Eileen Walsh, Newsletter Editor


February 23: Public Invited to Comment on Proposed Topics for CCS Advisory Group Meeting
The next meeting of the California Children's Services (CCS) Advisory Group is scheduled for April 6. The group advises the Department of Health Care Services on implementation of its "whole-child model." At its meeting on January 6, the Department offered a chart (PDF) comparing services that would be provided under the current CCS program, managed care, and the whole-child model. Members of the public may offer comments on potential agenda items for the April 6 meeting through an Advisory Group conference call:
Tuesday, February 23
2 to 3 p.m.
Call-in number: 866-675-9574
Passcode: 5425865

Also see: The Department of Finance has posted draft trailer bill language (PDF) to the state budget proposal regarding the CCS Redesign.

Online: Recording, Testimony from Senate Informational Hearing on the Future of CCS
The California Senate Health Committee held a hearing titled "The Future of the California Children's Services Program" in November, with Senators Ed Hernandez and Richard Pan in attendance. A full video recording of the hearing is online, and the agenda, briefing paper, background information, and individual statements are posted on the hearings webpage.

Upcoming Meeting:

Department of Health Care Services Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Thursday, February 25
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time
Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street
Dial-in: 888-968-3517
Passcode: 8245294
The committee advises the Department on programs that serve children and adults. The proposed agenda (PDF) includes updates on the CCS Redesign process, Senate Bill 75 (Coverage for All Children), and Health Homes.
Read more about the committee.


Update on In-Home Supportive Services Payment Rules
Disability Rights California has published new information about overtime pay and other changes for In-Home Supportive Services. The rules took effect February 1, but a grace period without penalty is available until May 1.

Autism: State Begins Shift in Coverage for Behavioral Health Treatment
This month, the Department of Health Care Services has begun transferring responsibility for providing Behavioral Health Treatment services for children with autism spectrum disorder from the state Regional Centers to Medi-Cal managed care. The process is expected to take about six months, according to the state's transition plan (PDF).

Also see: State Seeks to Calm Fears over Change in Autism Care


Physician Face-to-Face Encounter Now Required for Home Health Services
A newly issued final rule from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services adds a requirement that physicians document a face-to-face encounter (including telehealth) with the patient when ordering home health services. Orders for medical supplies, equipment, and appliances also must be authorized through encounters with physicians or authorized non-physician practitioners. The rule will go into effect on July 1, 2016. See a fact sheet (PDF) for more details.


REMINDER: Letters of Intent due February 8 for federal Accountable Health Communities Model grants program.


ABLE Act Implementation 2016
Friday, February 5
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Hosted by the National Disability Institute and the ABLE National Resource Center
A review of the current status of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and what can be expected in the next 12 months. The act allows individuals under age 26 with certain disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts in which they can deposit funds without jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits. California's version was signed into law in October 2015.
Find more information and register.

What Clinicians Need to Know About Palliative Care & Advance Care Planning for Pediatrics
Thursday, February 11
12 to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Hosted by the Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition
This webinar will examine how palliative and hospice care differs for children and adults, and provide resources for advance care planning with children.
Fee. Continuing Education Units available.
Learn more and register.

Connecting Kids to Coverage
Thursday, February 11
12 to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Information about a nationwide effort to identify and enroll children and youth who are eligible for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

See also: Health4All Niños – Medi-Cal Expansion for Undocumented Children (PDF – English)
Health4All Niños – La Expansión de Medi-Cal Es para Niños Indocumentados (PDF – Español)

The Experience of and Outcomes for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Their Families in Managed Health Care: Lessons Learned
Thursday, February 18
12 to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by The Arc's HealthMeet project and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health
Results from a four-year evaluation of an integrated care program in which people transferred from fee-for-service Medicaid to managed health care. Will address the role of continuity of care, care coordination, consumer choice, and family involvement.
Read more and register.


Community Education Conference: Co-Occurring Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Issues in Transition Aged Youth
Friday, March 11
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Los Angeles, CA
Hosted by the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Sessions on a range of topics related to the needs of transition-aged youth with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental health issues.
Fee. Continuing Education Units offered.
Early-bird registration until February 26.
Learn more and register.


Family Voices of California 2016 Health Summit and Legislative Day
March 14-15
Sacramento, CA
Presentations on key policy issues facing children and youth with special health care needs, followed by a day of visiting and building relationships with legislators and their staff in the Capitol. Keynote addresses scheduled from Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley and Senator Richard Pan.
Free for family members. $50 suggested donation for professionals.
Register to attend the Summit.


Easier Access to Nationwide Child Health Data
The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) has revamped its Data Resource Center website, which is a source for data on children's and families' health and health care quality nationwide. The site offers an interactive data query option, as well as portals on special topics such as medical home and system improvement.

Other Resources:

  • A new online technology guide helps caregivers understand how electronic organizers, monitors, sensors, and apps may help them. The guide is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.
  • February's Complex Child is the annual Feeding Tube and GI issue.


Deadline Extended for Covered California Enrollment if Process Already Started
Open enrollment for private health coverage through Covered California in 2016 has closed, but individuals who started the enrollment process but did not complete their application may complete it by midnight February 6 by contacting a Service Center representative or a certified enroller. Call (800) 300-1506, or visit Covered California's "Get Help" webpage.

Also see: Population Specific Fact Sheet: What to Know When Assisting a Consumer Who Has a Child or Youth with Special Health Care Needs



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