Posted February 18, 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.


Dear Reader,

Responses to our 4-minute online survey regarding the content and format of the newsletter must be submitted by Monday, February 29, for a chance to win one of the Amazon gift cards. Thanks to all who already have responded.


Fact Sheet Explains Budget Aspects of Proposed CCS Redesign
The Department of Finance has issued a fact sheet (PDF) explaining the trailer bill language in the Governor's proposed 2016-17 budget regarding the CCS redesign. The language would clarify the roles and responsibilities of the state, county, and Medi-Cal managed care health plans in counties where the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) implements the CCS Whole-Child Model, which involves moving services into managed care. This proposed language addresses the budget component of the redesign, which will not begin until January 2017 at the earliest. The policy aspects of the redesign are being addressed separately by DHCS. See its proposed components of the Whole-Child Model (PDF).

Reminder—Next Week's Meetings and Calls:

Call to Prepare Agenda for the CCS Advisory Group's April 6 Meeting
Tuesday, February 23
2 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time
Call-in number: 866-675-9574; passcode: 5425865
Public comment accepted. Read more about the CCS Advisory Group.

Department of Health Care Services Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Thursday, February 25
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time
Dial-in: 888-968-3517; passcode: 8245294
See the proposed agenda (PDF), which includes CCS, and read more about the committee.


Decision Nearing on Tax Reform Bill That Could Boost Developmental Services
After lengthy negotiations, a proposed restructuring of the state's tax on health plans may be approaching approval. If passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown, the "tax swap" package would provide some stability for Medi-Cal funding and also may increase support for services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Advocates are urging their constituents to contact their legislators to seek support for ABx2-20 and SBx2-15.

See: California Legislature Poised to Pass Replacement Tax on Health Care Plans and
Five Reasons Why the Governor's "MCO Tax" Proposal Deserves the Legislature's Support


Fed Toolkit Promotes Collaboration on States' Education, Health Services
The US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have sent a letter to governors, Chief State School Officers, State Health Officials, and state Medicaid directors suggesting practical steps for better connecting health and education services. An accompanying toolkit outlines five "high-impact opportunities" for action steps and practices to improve school-based health.

Also see: A blog post from Community Catalyst about changes in the "free care" rule, which addresses reimbursement to schools for services provided to Medicaid-eligible students.


Possible Opportunities for States to Improve Private Health Insurance for Children
Thursday, February 25
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Hosted by the National Academy for State Health Policy
Will explore areas in which states can improve aspects of health coverage for children within the private insurance market, which comprise nearly half of all children in the country.
Learn more and register.

Medical Home – Building on the Improvement Model
Tuesday, March 1
9 to 10 a.m. Pacific Time
Hosted by the New York-Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetics and Newborn Screening Services, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Third in a six-part Medical Home Webinar Series (PDF) to enhance care coordination for individuals with special health care needs.
Learn more and register.


Families Invited to Help Shape Research on Family-Centered Care
Family Voices and the Society of General Internal Medicine are collaborating on a project to give families a voice in the growing field of patient- and family-centered research, which influences how care is provided. Families are asked to complete a brief survey about their experiences with, and expectations about, medical research.

2016 Family Leadership Meeting – Expanding Our Reach, Impacting the Future
March 30-31
Rockville, MD
Sponsored by the Family Voices National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Family leaders from every state attend to learn innovative strategies and best practices, and strengthen their collective impact on systems serving children and youth with special health care needs.
Early bird registration ends March 1.
Find more information and register to attend.


Beyond Kale and Pedicures
March 9
Signal Hill, CA
Hosted by the Children's Institute, Inc.
Strategies to manage Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Trauma for professionals working with highly stressed, low-resource families. Fee. Continuing Education Credit available.
Learn more and register.

AMCHP Conference Rescheduled
April 6-9 are the new dates for the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs annual conference in Washington, DC, that was canceled due to severe weather in January. Information for current and new registrants now is available, along with details about the conference program.

Advocating for Equity in Education & Health Care
May 5-6
Sacramento, CA
Hosted by the California School-Based Health Alliance
Attend workshops on increasing health and education equity for children, and network with other health care providers and educators.
Fee. Early bird registration ends February 29.
Learn more and register.



Special Education Data has newly updated data on special education enrollment in California. Data sets include special education data by type of disability and race/ethnicity.


Report Outlines How Health Care Law Can Support People with Disabilities
The National Council on Disability has sent President Obama the first in a series of three reports on how the Affordable Care Act affects the disability community. In a letter accompanying the report, the chair of the Council wrote that "ACA could be the single most important piece of legislation for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act," which was passed in 1990. Read Implementing the Affordable Care Act: A Roadmap for People with Disabilities.



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