Posted November 17, 2016

News, policy updates, resources, events, and advocacy opportunities

California Childrens Services

Suggest Topics for CCS Advisory Group Meeting
The CCS Advisory Group next meets on January 11, and the Department of Health Care Services currently is accepting requests for agenda topics for that meeting. The deadline to submit topics to is 5 p.m. on Monday, November 28. See the most recent Q&A on the whole child model (PDF).

Medicaid Managed Care: Challenges and Opportunities for CSHCN
Many states are attempting to reduce health care costs and potentially improve quality of care by shifting Medicaid beneficiaries with complex conditions into managed care, as California is doing with its CCS redesign. A new fact sheet identifies states that leverage Medicaid managed care to advance the pediatric medical home model through payment incentives, technical assistance, and care coordination services. The fact sheet, created by the National Center for Medical Home Implementation, in collaboration with the National Academy for State Health Policy, discusses challenges and opportunities in providing care for children and youth with special health care needs enrolled in Medicaid managed care. See the fact sheet.

Honoring a Champion for Children with Special Health Care Needs
When a question arises about the California Children's Services (CCS) program, advocates know who will have the answer: Laurie Soman, the longtime director of CRISS (the Children's Regional Integrated Service System). Family Voices of California recently presented Soman with a resolution from State Senator Lori Hancock's office, honoring her decades of service on behalf of CSHCN. Soman also is manager of policy analysis at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and a member of the CCS Redesign Advocacy Group. Read a Q&A with Soman, including her thoughts on how to ease the transition of children who are being moved from CCS into Medi-Cal managed care.

Care Coordination

Webinar on Care Planning: Recording, Slides Now Available
In this November 9 webinar, two experts discuss their approaches to creating and implementing effective, family-centered plans of care for children with special health care needs. They also provide guides for use by families and practitioners. See the recording and presentation slides

Innovations in Complex Care
Recognition is growing about the impact of the social determinants of health, such as poverty, food deserts, unsafe streets, and poor housing, particularly on people with complex medical needs. The Center for Health Care Strategies conducted a national scan to help frame the key domains for improving complex care, and identified several ways to address these kinds of issues. Their work focuses on adults but has relevance for pediatrics. Read their recommendations.

Also see archived webinar: Care Coordination Measures for Children with Medical Complexity

Grant Opportunity

HRSA: Health Care Delivery System Innovations for Children with Medical Complexity
Implementing innovative care and payment models for children with medical complexity (CMC) is the goal of a new grant opportunity announced by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Applicants must use a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) approach, which involves teams of families of CMC, pediatric primary and specialty care clinicians, leaders of integrated health care delivery systems and/or freestanding children's hospitals, state Title V CYSHCN and Medicaid leaders, and other relevant stakeholders. The team will work together to test strategies and build evidence for optimizing high quality, cost-effective, family-centered care for CMC. Applications are due by February 27, 2017. Read details in the announcement

California Policy

Take Survey to Help Shape California's ABLE Program
In 2015 California passed the CalABLE Act, which allows qualified individuals with disabilities and their families to open tax-free savings accounts without losing government assistance. The State has issued a survey of potential CalABLE users to help shape the program.

Audit Questions Vendor Rates for In-Home Respite Care
In October, the California State Auditor released a report containing a range of recommendations to ensure that the Department of Developmental Services is paying reasonable rates to vendors for in-home respite services, and to ensure that respite workers receive an appropriate hourly wage. The report contains the Department's responses to the recommendations. Read the report (PDF).

National Policy

How to Improve Home and Community-Based Services?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking ideas from the public on how the agency might accelerate and improve provision of home and community-based services (HCBS) to Medicaid (Medi-Cal) beneficiaries. HCBS include assistance with personal care, respite care and other services designed to keep individuals in their homes rather than institutions, if that is their preference. Suggestions must be submitted by 5 p.m. on January 9, 2017, to Follow the “submit a comment” instructions. Read more.

In Brief


The Catalyst Center's most-visited web page is Information for Families, which provides a state-by-state directory of links to direct service organizations for children with special health care needs and their families, along with information about state maternal and child health programs. The directory is available in English and español

Other Useful Resources


What Matters Most: Essential Attributes of a High-Quality System of Care for Adults with Complex Care Needs
Tuesday, November 22
10 to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
Health Management Associates
Aimed at adults, but has relevance for pediatrics.

Using Patient Voices to Improve Your Organization
Thursday, December 1
12 to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Center for Care Innovations and the UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care
Addresses how organizations can engage patients in quality improvement, and factors that promote patient engagement through programs such as patient advisory councils.

Archived Webinars


15th Annual Family Voices of California Health Summit & Legislative Day
February 27-28, 2017
Family Voices of California
Read more and register.

Call for Posters: 9th Annual Palliative Care Summit
March 13-14, 2017
Coalition for Compassionate Care California
Poster session proposals due December 9. Read more.

In the News

We'd like to hear from you

Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. Email Danielle DeCosta at with your news or updates. Or contact newsletter editor: Eileen Walsh at