CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 06/17/2011

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on May 12, 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, would provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees. 

Specifically, AB 396 would allow counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility for more than 24 hours. The bill specifies that participating minors must be eligible for Medi-Cal and detained in either a juvenile detention facility or probation camp. While the measure would require the Department of Health Care Services to develop a process to allow counties to collect federal reimbursement for outpatient medical care, the author points out that current law already authorizes DHCS to implement a similar reimbursement system for adult detainees. 

SB 695 would allow counties to use the local funds that we are already expending for juvenile medical care to pull down federal Medicaid matching funds for those youths who are Medi-Cal eligible. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports the bill. 

AB 306 has been referred to both the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Public Safety Committee, but has not yet been set for hearing. 

SB 695 (Hancock) – Support
As Amended on May 23, 2011

SB 695, by Senator Loni Hancock, would allow counties to draw down federal funding to help defray the cost of providing medical care to juveniles awaiting adjudication in county facilities. 

SB 695 would allow counties to use the local funds that spent on juvenile medical care to pull down federal Medicaid matching funds for those youths who are Medi-Cal eligible. 

The Assembly Health Committee passed the bill unanimously on June 15 and recommended it for the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s consent calendar.

Foster Youth

AB 846 (Bonilla) – Support
As Amended on June 7, 2011

AB 846, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, would provide assistance to foster youth who may have been victims of identity theft.

AB 846 is clean up to AB 2985 by Assembly Member Bill Maze (Statutes of 2006), which required county child welfare and probation agencies to request consumer credit disclosures on all foster youth turning 16 and to refer a foster youth to a credit counseling organization upon any indication of negative credit or evidence of identity theft. Specifically, AB 846 clarified that the request may be made by the state or a county and authorizes the requesting entity to refer the youth directly to a governmental or nonprofit organization that provides information and assistance with identify theft and other credit problems.

The Senate Human Services Committee passed AB 846 on June 14 and it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

CalWORKs

AB 1182 (R. Hernández) – Support
As Introduced on February 18, 2011

AB 1182, by Assembly Member Roger Hernández, would allow CalWORKs applicants and recipients to own reliable cars. 

AB 1182 would specifically delete the requirement that counties assess the value of a motor vehicle when determining or redetermining CalWORKs eligibility. 

AB 1182 would increase the opportunities for recipients to find and maintain stable employment, while also increasing the state’s work participation rate, reducing grant costs in the long run and helping to avoid federal penalties. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 1182. The Senate Human Services Committee passed AB 1182 on June 14: it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
As Amended on April 6, 2011

AB 709, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, would ensure the timely enrollment of foster youth who must transfer to a new school. 

Existing law requires a school to immediately enroll a foster child, even if the child is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment. This includes previous academic records, proof of residency, and medical records. However, existing law does not address the requirement to produce proof of immunization or a vaccination history prior to enrollment. AB 709 addresses this discrepancy by allowing schools to waive the vaccination record requirement for foster youth. 

CSAC supports the bill, which was originally schedule to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on June 13. However, it is now set for June 22.

Mental Health

AB 1297 (Chesbro) – Support
As Introduced on February 18, 2011

AB 1297, a bill by Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro, would ensure timely federal reimbursement to counties for providing Specialty Mental Health Managed Care services provided by counties. 

Specifically, AB 1297 would align the state’s requirements for the Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care program with existing federal requirements, which will help maximize federal reimbursements for these services. AB 1297 would accomplish this by requiring the state and the California Mental Health Directors Association to develop a reimbursement methodology that conforms to federal Medicaid requirements and approved Medicaid state plan and waivers. 

The need for developing a new reimbursement methodology for mental health services provided by counties to Medi-Cal eligible individuals is acute. The State’s current Statewide Maximum Allowances (SMAs) system has been frozen since Fiscal Year 2006-07, and counties have incurred significant costs for serving eligible populations during this time. AB 1297 would allow counties to be reimbursed for these costs by the federal government, all without impacting the state’s General Fund. 

Counties believe that AB 1297 will both streamline and enhance our ability to draw down federal reimbursements for Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care services – all at no cost to the state’s General Fund. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 1297. The Senate Health Committee will hear AB 1297 on June 22.

Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver

AB 1066 (Pérez) – Support
As Amended on June 15, 2011

AB 1066, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, has been introduced to clean up some of the technical language contained in last year’s Section 1115 Medicaid Hospital Financing Demonstration Waiver bills, SB 208 (Steinberg) and AB 302 (Pérez). 

AB 1066 clarifies some items related to the county-run coverage expansion projects, including renaming the county Coverage Expansion and Enrollment Demonstration (CEED) projects referred to in previous legislation to Low Income Health Program (LIHP). Also, under AB 1066, the state’s deadline for authorizing new LIHP’s would be July 1, 2011, and counties could opt to offer coverage to those with incomes above 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and up to 200 percent FPL. Lastly, the bill authorizes and clarifies the transfer of some funds from the previous Medicaid Hospital Financing Waiver.

AB 1066 was amended in the Senate Health Committee on June 15 to remove the language pertaining to LIHP eligibility for newly released inmates. This was done because the language appeared in the budget that was also passed that same day, However, Governor Brown has vetoed the budget bill, so it is possible that AB 1066 will again be amended to reinsert that language. Because of the amendments, the bill was re-referred to the Senate Health Committee. 

CSAC, along with the County Welfare Directors Association and the County Health Executives Association of California, have supported AB 1066 throughout this process. 

CalFresh (Food Stamps)

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
As Amended on May 27, 2011

AB 402, by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, would help combat child hunger by making it easier to coordinate outreach efforts for the School Meal and CalFresh Programs. 

The bill builds on the eligibility similarities of the School Meal and CalFresh programs by giving school districts the option to help initiate a CalFresh application for students enrolled in the School Meal program. 

Both federally funded programs have a gross income threshold of 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and are administered by the Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA). AB 402 will allow, at the option of the local school district and CalFresh administering agency, the School Meal application to be utilized to initiate a CalFresh application. 

Assembly Bill 402 will build a bridge between two federal programs to help feed our youngest and most vulnerable residents throughout the year, not just on school days. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 402.

The Senate Education Committee will hear AB 402 on June 22.

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