Public Comment Opens for Final Draft of California Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Blueprint

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), California Department of Education (CDE), and @California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) have entered into a new agreement consistent with the State’s “Employment First” policy and other laws to make employment in an integrated setting, at a competitive wage, for individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) its highest priority.

The California Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Blueprint is the combined effort of the CDE, DOR and DDS in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including Disability Rights California (DRC) with leadership provided by the California Health and Human Services Agency. The purpose of the Blueprint is to increase opportunities for Californians with ID/DD to prepare for and participate in CIE.

The final draft California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint is available at the CHHS website in English, Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, Russian, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

The public comment period for the draft Blueprint is now open and will close on December 30, 2016. Written comments and questions may be submitted to CaliforniaCIE@dor.ca.gov.

DDS Extends Deadline For Regional Center Providers to Submit HCBS Transition Funding Proposals

On August 3, 2016, the Department sent  information regarding the process for requesting funding to assist providers in making changes to meet the federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) settings requirements.  To allow more time for the development and completion of these proposals, the Department is extending the deadline, until October 30, 2016, for service providers to submit proposals to regional centers.  The Department will update its website with this revised timeline:

http://www.dds.ca.gov/HCBS/

All proposals for NBRC vendors need to be sent attn: Maura McDonough at Mauram@nbrc.net

 

State Begins Newborn Screening Championed by Vista Mom

About half a million babies are born in California each year, which translates to roughly 1,400 per day. Starting today, every one of those newborns will be tested for a rare genetic disorder that can destroy the nervous system. Their parents can thank a variety of people who pushed for the screening, but perhaps most of all a Vista mother who lost her son to the condition. Read more.

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:

http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/ltc/Pages/HCBSStatewideTransitionPlan.aspx

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.

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