Posted April 27, 2017

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

California Children's Services

CCS Advisory Group, Officials Discuss Whole Child Model Implementation
Durable medical equipment, NICU payments, performance measures, and state-county agreements were among the topics discussed at the CCS Advisory Group meeting on April 12. See a summary of highlights (PDF) compiled by CRISS (Children’s Regional Integrated Service System) and the meeting agenda and slides. The group advises on the state's proposed transition of some CCS-covered children into Medicaid managed care.

Also see: How to Avoid a Medicaid Managed-Care Fiasco

Bill Would Ensure Three Years of Data for Whole Child Model Evaluation
Implementation of the CCS Whole Child Model recently was delayed from 2017 to 2018. Once implementation takes place, the Department of Health Care Services must contract with an independent entity to evaluate the performance of the Medi-Cal managed care plans and the outcomes for children and youth, compared to the performance of the CCS program prior to the Whole Child Model implementation. SB 152 proposes amending the due date for the evaluation to ensure three full years of data for comparison.

Also see: Assessing Patient Experience: From Special Projects to Routine Process

Network News

National Survey Highlights States’ Title V Programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Every US state and territory has a federally funded Title V program for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN), charged with providing family-centered, community-based coordinated care. In response to changes at the federal level, many states currently are modifying how their CYSCHN programs operate. The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), with support from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, has conducted a survey to compile information about how these programs are structured, areas of focus, roles in systems of care, emerging issues, and more. The results will allow states to compare programs and share best practices. See the full report (PDF) and more information on the AMCHP website

Mental and Behavioral Health

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
Communities across the country will mark National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday, May 4, with events that will highlight the importance of mental health to a child’s healthy development from birth. The national focus for 2017 is on integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders. “Partnering for Help and Hope” will be the theme for a national event in Washington, DC, at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. It will be webcast with opportunities for questions and comments. Read more and find local events

Also see:

Data Update: Children’s Behavioral Health Care Use and Costs in Medicaid
Roughly 11 percent of children in Medicaid use behavioral health services, yet they account for an estimated 36 percent of program expenditures for children. These children also are at high risk for uncoordinated care and poor health outcomes. The Center for Health Care Strategies has released a preview of an upcoming analysis of Medicaid data that aims to uncover patterns of behavioral health service usage and inform state efforts to improve services for these children. Read more

California Policy

Rising Demand, Stagnant Wages Threaten Home Health Care
Finding in-home health care that makes it possible for children with special needs to remain in their homes is a perennial issue for many families. California and states around the country are grappling with the consequences of low wages for in-home workers, unaffordable housing prices, and a growing population of seniors who also require in-home care. Read more:

Also see: Pediatric Home Health Care – California AB 654 

National Policy

Repeal and Replace for Affordable Care Act Still Alive
The drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act and enact major changes to Medicaid remains under consideration in Washington, DC, with a vote possible as soon as this week. Family Voices and other organizations are urging stakeholders to contact their members of Congress. Various studies address the impact these proposed changes:

Advocates Urge Renewal of Children’s Health Insurance Program
Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expires on September 30, and state officials, families and advocates are pressing (PDF) for long-term renewal. CHIP provides funding to states to help cover children in low-income families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Also see: CHIP Offers Families with Seriously Ill Kids More Financial Protection Than ACA Plans – Kaiser Health News

Webinar: Resources to Advocate for CHIP Renewal in California
Thursday, May 4
2 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time
Host: California Children’s Health Coverage Coalition
Presentation of a CHIP renewal strategy and an advocacy playbook. 
Read more and register

Did You Know?

Many US Children Depend on Medicaid, CHIP
During fiscal year 2016, more than 7 in 10 California children used federal funds from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program for health care coverage, according to the latest data now available on Nationwide, fewer than 6 in 10 children used Medicaid or CHIP funds during the same time period. Read more and see the data.

Employment Opportunities

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health has openings for a Program Officer, Child Health System Improvement, and a Senior Manager of External Relations. Read more and apply.


Life with Down Syndrome: Fulfillment, Health, Education, Advocacy and Inclusion
Friday, May 19
Los Angeles, CA 
Host: USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
A one-day conference offering more than 12 sessions on a range of topics relevant to people living with Down syndrome, their families, and service providers. 
Read more and register.


Community Paramedicine: A New Approach to Serving Complex Populations
Thursday, May 11
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsor: Center for Health Care Strategies
Presentations from community programs in two states that have incorporated non-traditional providers, such as community health workers, neighborhood navigators, pharmacists, and paramedics, into their health care delivery teams. 
Read more and register.

In the News

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


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