Posted October 5, 2017

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

California Children's Services

Advisory Group Discusses Transition to Managed Care
At its October 4 meeting, the CCS Advisory Group delved into a range of issues related to the transfer of some CCS children into Medi-Cal managed care, scheduled to begin next year. The group examined how provider networks will be certified to ensure they have the appropriate network of services, the performance measures that will be used to evaluate plans, and how families will be notified about changes, among other topics. The group also discussed the requirement that each managed care plan have a family advisory committee, and the proposed guidelines (PDF) for developing those committees. Detailed information on the meeting topics is available on the PowerPoint presentation (PDF).

The group also discussed a letter (PDF), from the state clarifying Medi-Cal managed care health plans’ obligations to provide and coordinate non-emergency medical transportation and non-medical transportation.

Note: To keep informed about CCS activities, subscribe to its email list at CCSRedesign [at]


Review Finds Positive News about Medicaid Managed Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs
A just-published report from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) suggests that some states are learning that Medicaid managed care can provide greater opportunities than the traditional fee-for-service model for coordinating care, controlling costs, and improving health care quality and outcomes for children with special health care needs. A nationwide analysis found that 47 states and Washington, DC, now use some form of managed care to serve all or some children enrolled in Medicaid. The report includes a 50-state review of Medicaid managed care contracts, including a map and table for each state. Read more.

National Collaborative Aims to Improve Managed Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Seven states have been selected to participate in a year-long learning collaborative designed to assist state efforts to improve Medicaid managed care for Children with Special Health Care Needs.  The collaborative will be facilitated by NASHP in partnership with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP).  NASHP and AMCHP will provide technical assistance and learning opportunities, with emphasis placed on use of the National Standards for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Medicaid quality measurement. The seven states participating in the learning collaborative, which is supported by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, are Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. For more information, write to KVanLandeghem [at]

National Policy

Action Day Planned to Urge Passage of Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Reauthorization of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is moving rapidly through Congress. CHIP funding expired September 30, placing health coverage at risk for nearly nine million children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Advocates are concerned that failure to authorize funding might place barriers on access to care for children with complex health needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued an advocacy toolkit (PDF) and identified October 11 as a day of action.

Also see: A Tutorial on the Basics of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (PDF) – from the Catalyst Center and the National Academy for State Health Policy, updated September 2017.
Family Caregivers Act Moves Ahead in Senate

The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act passed the US Senate on September 27. The act would establish a coordinated strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. Read more.

California Policy

Funds Available to Address Regional Center Purchase of Service Disparities; Community Organizations Eligible
The Department of Developmental Services is accepting applications until November 6 from Regional Centers and community-based organizations for projects that will assist Regional Centers in implementing strategies to reduce documented disparities in purchase of services. Previously, only Regional Centers were allowed to apply for funding.  Two phone calls are scheduled to assist potential applicants.

Friday, October 6
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Dial-in: (800) 553-0329

Wednesday, October 11
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Dial-in: (800) 553-0329                                           

Read more about the Disparity Funds Program (PDF) and see the application guidelines (PDF).

Department of Health Care Services Stakeholder Advisory Committee to Meet
Thursday, October 19
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Dial-in: (888) 945-5893
Passcode: 2656282
The Committee advises DHCS on health care policy issues affecting the department, which oversees California Children’s Services and Medi-Cal.  See the October 19 agenda and a summary of the July 19 meeting on the Committee website.

Transition to Adult Care

AAP Forum to Help Care Providers Ease Transition
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with Got Transition, is launching a project to help health care professionals learn how to successfully transition youth from pediatrics to the adult care system. The project uses the ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model, which employs technology to bring together specialty care providers at academic medical centers with primary care providers in local communities, creating bi-directional knowledge networks.  All health care professionals who have an interest in improving transitional care for youth and young adults are welcome to participate. Learn more and register.


Complex Care


Little People, Big Pain: Overcoming Obstacles to Pain Management in Children
Tuesday, October 17
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time
Sponsor: Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
Details: Fee. Includes 1 CEU for nurses and social workers.
Read more and register


  • The Child Neurology Foundation has developed a Respite Care Notebook for families, where they can assemble information about their child in one place, allowing respite caregivers to provide optimal care.                         
  • Exceptional Parent Magazine provides practical advice, emotional support, and educational information for families of children with special health care needs and disabilities.                       
  • Complex Child October issue: Allergies and Intolerances.                                

Did You Know?

Online: National Survey of Children’s Health Results
Data from the National Survey of Children’s Health are now available. The 2016 survey integrates the previously separate National Survey of Children’s Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Read more and view the results.

In the News

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Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. Email newsletter editor Eileen Walsh at eileen.walsh [at] with your news or updates.