CSAC Bulletin Article

HHS Policy Committee Meets at CSAC Legislative Conference

May 20, 2016

The CSAC Health and Human Services Policy Committee discussed updates on the state budget and heard about strategies to find permanent homes for older foster youth at the CSAC Legislative Conference in Sacramento on Thursday.

Members heard from Michelle Gibbons, Executive Director of the County Health Executives Association of California, on the progress for allowing counties to claim Medi-Cal funding for inmate medical costs when the inmate is treated at an offsite facility. Although counties have had the authority to claim for these costs, the development of a methodology and claiming process with the Department of Health Care Services has been slow going. Ms. Gibbons addressed questions on the timelines involved in implementation and how exactly counties can participate when the new methodology is finalized – hopefully later this year.

The Committee also received a quick briefing on multiple issues within the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, including how the new minimum wage and overtime requirements will be implemented, as well the workload associated with administering these changes at the local level. During this update, the Committee heard updates from Faith Conley, CSAC Legislative Representative; Karen Keeslar, Executive Director of the California Association of Public Authorities; and Diana Boyer, Senior Policy Advisor of the County Welfare Directors Association of California. The Committee discussed the complexities of implementing these changes, including the impact of the high turnover for IHSS workers, in detail. CSAC will continue to lobby on simplifying the implementation process and ensuring that counties have adequate funding for these activities.

Finally, Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli and Director Emerita/Chief Permanency Officer of Families NOW Gail Johnson Vaughan presented on strategies for creating permanency for older foster youth. They suggested that counties make use of child-centered services to create more stable environments for vulnerable foster youth. A full report on the tools discussed during the meeting is available here: http://kids-alliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SNR-FamiliesNow.pdf

The Health and Human Services Policy Committee will meet again in the coming weeks, possibly in a joint meeting with the Housing, Land Use, and Transportation policy committee, to discuss housing and other legislative proposals in more detail.

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