CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 2/7/2014

Senate Committees Focus on Coordinated Care Initiative Concerns in Joint Hearing

The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review and Health Committees held a joint hearing yesterday for an oversight hearing of the state’s Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) demonstration project. Previously called the Duals Initiative and often also referred to as California Medi-Connect, this 8-county pilot project to move more than a million concurrently Medicare and Medicaid-eligible people into a managed care system that includes long-term supports such as the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program. 

This complex project is more than a year behind schedule, and a recent federal audit raised serious readiness and accessibility questions for some of the participating managed care plans. Much of the testimony presented at the hearing included concerns related to the April start date and the state’s disjointed efforts to enroll consumers and coordinate suitable managed care plans. 

Concerns were also raised about covered services, access to care, and how Medicare and Medicaid funds would be accessed and by which entity. The Senators who participated expressed concern with plan readiness and the April start date, but vowed to continue to assess the effectiveness of the project and provide the necessary oversight in the coming months. 
For the agenda and background paper, click here. 

Counties Urged to Sign Onto the Children’s Movement of California

The Health and Human Services Policy Committee heard a presentation from Ted Lempert, former Assembly Member and current President of the nonprofit children’s advocacy group Children Now, on the organization’s ambitious Children’s Movement of California last November. The CSAC Board of Directors also heard a report on the subject from HHS Policy Committee Chair Kathy Long, where she encouraged individual counties to sign onto the Movement. 

The Movement, founded by Children Now, connects more than 700 organizations and individuals with the shared goal of improving children’s health and education in California. What is different about this effort is the collaborative, inclusive nature of the coalition, whose individual members possessed varying priorities and a diffuse influence on the policy making process. 

The Movement focuses each member’s efforts to improve the lives of children by providing timely tools and information on children’s issues and legislative measures. The Movement realized significant success this past legislative session with the enactment of the school Local Control Funding Formula, measures to protect foster youth and a major bill to protect the online privacy of children (SB 568). 

2014 promises to be a busy year for children’s advocates and their allies, and any county supervisor or county board may join the Children’s Movement by clicking here. 

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