Posted June 9, 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.


Mother Calls for Better Health Care Access for Spanish-Speaking Families
Activista y madre: Acceso a cuidado para familias hispanohablantes

As a Spanish-speaking parent, Martha Solis says she faces an additional layer of obstacles beyond the existing challenges of parenting a child with special needs. Read her story in English and español.



Hearing Set for June 21 on CCS Redesign Bill
The Assembly Committee on Health has scheduled a hearing on Senate Bill 586, which addresses the future of the California Children's Services (CCS) program and the state's proposed plans to move some children covered by CCS into managed care. Advocacy groups recently proposed revised language for the bill, which was introduced in February 2015. The amended language addresses a variety of topics, including timelines, rates, treatment guidelines, monitoring, evaluation, and family involvement.
Assembly Committee on Health Hearing
Tuesday, June 21
1:30 p.m.
State Capitol, Room 4202
Read more and see how to listen to the hearing.

Advocates Comment on CCS, CSHCN Sections in State's Application for Federal Title V Funds
In response to a request from the state for comment on its Title V Block Grant application for next year, the Children's Regional Integrated Service System (CRISS) has submitted a letter offering detailed comments and alternative recommendations on sections of the proposal related to California Children's Services and children with special health care needs. Title V funds are the federal dollars granted to states to improve maternal and child health, based on applications from states. CRISS is a 27-county collaborative that supports an effective, efficient, family-centered CCS program. Read the letter (PDF).


Advocacy Guide for Protecting Enrollees under New Medicaid Managed Care Rule
Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit advocacy organization, has prepared a guide that outlines opportunities to ensure protection for enrollees in state Medicaid managed care programs under the new federal final rule issued in May. Among the issues discussed are network adequacy, quality ratings, and stakeholder engagement. California is considering moving some children enrolled in California Children's Services into managed care.


Asked and Answered: Questions from the "Take Action on Care Coordination" Webinar
Nearly 300 people tuned in April 13 for a webinar on care coordination that featured a parent's perspective, along with examples from a provider and a payer on how to develop effective local care coordination systems for children with special health care needs. Due to the volume of participants, time ran out before all the questions that were submitted could be answered. After the webinar, the speakers provided these responses to the pending questions, which may be of interest even to those who did not attend. View the webinar recording and see the slides.

School Nurses Linking with the Medical Home: Webinar Recording and Resources Available
On May 25, the National Center for Medical Home Implementation presented a webinar, "Care Coordination for Kids: School Nurses Linking with the Medical Home," which discussed the effectiveness of care coordination when communication between school health and medical communities is established and implemented in a structured manner. Now available online: 1) a video recording of the webinar; 2) presentation slides; and 3) links to all the resources discussed during the webinar, including a Pediatric Care Coordination Curriculum designed for school nurses.

Also see: Role of the School Nurse in Providing School Health Services


Addressing Health Coverage Inequities Among Children with Special Health Care Needs in Your State
Monday, June 20
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by the Catalyst Center
A tutorial on how to understand and address health care coverage inequities among subgroups of CSHCN based on race, ethnicity, language, immigration status, and level of functional difficulty.

How Effective Are Transition Programs for Youth and Young Adults: Findings from the Healthy Transition Initiative
Tuesday, June 21
10 to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
Sponsored by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Results of a five-year study on the most effective ways to deliver transition-oriented services that would result in positive outcomes for young adults with serious mental health challenges.
Read more and register.


New Data: Higher Rates of Absences, Suspensions for Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities are more frequently absent from school, are twice as likely to be suspended, and are secluded and restrained at school at far higher rates than their typically developing peers, according to data from the US Department of Education. Read more in Disability Scoop.

Opportunities to Integrate Physical, Mental Health Care for Medi-Cal Enrollees
Recent changes in Medi-Cal provide opportunities to test new strategies for integrating physical and behavioral health care, according to a just-released issue brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies. The brief describes promising practices to improve collaboration between Medi-Cal managed care and county mental health systems.


Vision and Screening Services Required Under Medicaid
Children and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid should receive both vision and hearing screenings at each well-child check-up. has posted information about the importance of screenings and the states' requirements to provide services and information to families.

Other Useful 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