Care Coordination

Improving Access to Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies Through the California Children's Services Program – Phase II


National Health Law Program

Primary Contact

Michelle Lilienfeld

Grant Amount

$102,500 for 12 months

Date Awarded

October 2019


Children with special health care needs often endure unnecessarily long and sometimes harmful delays in accessing essential medical equipment and supplies. In California, the source of these delays often can be traced to the complex and overlapping patchwork of government programs designed to address children’s needs. Key among those programs is California Children’s Services (CCS). Current work funded by the foundation has led to a guide for legal advocates so they can assist families in navigating the CCS program. With these funds, the grantee will identify and address two of the major gaps in obtaining equipment, and will develop and deploy an advocacy strategy for addressing these gaps.


Using mechanisms that included Public Records Act (PRA) requests, focus groups with families of CSHCN, and review of existing guidance from the Department of Health Care Services, NHeLP completed an in-depth gap analysis of issues in accessing durable medical equipment (DME) through the California Children's Services (CCS) Program. An updated issue brief for advocates was developed and disseminated, based on the information gathered from the PRA requests. NHeLP staff testified before the State about the need for increased oversight and monitoring of the CCS program, and provided information for several news articles on DME access through CCS. The updated issue brief has led to an increase in requests for assistance from families that are having difficulty obtaining needed services through CCS, even beyond DME. NHeLP also pivoted its work to help improve the guidance being offered to CCS clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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