Public Comment Opportunity Regarding the HCBS California Statewide Transition Plan

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is developing a revised Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2016.  The STP describes how the State will come into compliance with new Federal Home and Community-Based (HCB) Settings Final Rule that became effective March 17, 2014.  These regulations are CMS 2249-F and CMS 2296-F, which affect 1115, 1915(c), 1915(i) and 1915(k) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers and State Plan programs.  All 1115, 1915(c), 1915(i), and 1915(k) HCBS waivers and State Plan programs must be in full compliance with the new Federal rules by March 17, 2019.

DHCS invites all interested parties to review the revised STP, including the CBAS Transition Plan, and provide public input.  The 30-day public comment period will begin on August 29, and ends on September 29, 2016.  Public comments on the STP should be submitted via the STP Public Comment Template

For information regarding the Transition Plan, and directions on how to submit public comment, please see here:

New Rules Designed To Curtail Subminimum Wage Employment

New federal rules are taking effect that will impose strict limits on people with disabilities being paid less than minimum wage. For the first time, young people with disabilities must satisfy a series of requirements before they can earn what’s known as subminimum wage.

What’s more, those who already work for less than the minimum must regularly be provided opportunities to explore other career options. Read more.

ABA Coverage for Federal Employees

In its annual Call Letter regarding submission of 2017 benefits and rates for Federal Employees Health Benefit Plans, OPM is requiring all plans to offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We expect all carriers to offer clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with ASD; exact benefits will vary by plan. Read more.

No Primary Care Doc? We’ll Get You One

Health insurers are gearing up to comply with a new Covered California rule that will require them next year to ensure that all enrollees have a primary care provider. The policy change for 2017 is part of a broader push by the exchange to improve the quality of care, even as it faces double-digit premium increases.

Health insurers selling through Covered California will designate a family doctor — or in some cases a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant — for every plan holder who doesn’t already have one within 60 days of the coverage start date. Read more.

Child Welfare Services Reforms

The Department of Social Services will be making changes to the funding and structure of out-of-home placements for children under county care in the next few months. Most notably, their leveling system for group home placements will be revised in order to encourage more children to be placed in home-like settings unless they have a particular challenge that needs more intensive intervention over a short period of time. Click here for more.

OAH Special Education Advisory Committee

The Office of Administrative Hearings(OAH) has reopened the application process for the OAH Special Education Advisory Committee.  Attached is the application and information about the committee.  The deadline is August 19, 2016.
Anyone who is interested in providing recommendations to improve OAH’s special education dispute resolution program is encouraged to apply. Click here for more information.

New California Vaccine Law: Some Questions and Answers

Q. What will the new law do?

A. Senate Bill 277 requires almost all California children who attend private or public schools to be fully vaccinated regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. Unvaccinated children can attend schools only if they obtain a medical exemption from a doctor.
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