June 23, 2014

June 18 Washington DC Update

June 18 Washington DC Update

Washington DC Update 6/18/14 

{Don’t forget to check out the Family Voices/NCFPP ACA webpage, and the latest blog post: Why Oral Health is Important for Children with Special Needs & How to Access It, at http://www.fv-ncfpp.org/blog/.}

Greetings from Washington!  This was an eventful week. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an increase in funding for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant; the Department of Health and Human Services released a new grant announcement for entities that wish to become ACA Navigators; a House committee approved a bill to reauthorize and rename the Combating Autism Act (now to be called the Autism CARES Act); and Senator Rockefeller introduced a bill to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

UPCOMING WEBINARS AND CALLS [NOTE:  Some are not listed in chronological order]

Pre-Application Calls for Potential Navigator Grant Applicants. There is a new Funding Opportunity Announcement for Navigator grants (see below under “ACA News and Information”), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting conference calls for potential grant applicants:

Tuesday, June 24, 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Audience URL: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1036408

Title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar  

Tuesday, July 1, 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Audience URL: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1036406
Title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar

Public Funding for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - Part II: Medicaid TBI HCBS Waivers

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET

Hosted by the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA). Presenters will provide an overview of §1915(c) Medicaid TBI Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs and community long-term services and supports (LTSS) options; recent CMS rules governing HCBS characteristics; and State trends/initiatives addressing LTSS for individuals with brain injury. Register here.

Medicaid Eligibility for Former Foster Youth Up to Age 26

Wednesday, June 18, 2:00 pm ET  

This quarterly call sponsored by Community Catalyst will address the ACA’s extension of Medicaid eligibility for former foster youth up to age 26, a provision featured in a recent blog. On the call, Community Catalyst staff will discuss the key takeaways from the report, “The ACA and Former Foster Youth: Opportunities and Challenges for States.” In addition, representatives from several states will talk about the steps they are taking to implement this provision and enroll former foster youth. There will also be time for participants to raise questions and concerns or share successes. Community Catalyst staff will also share a quick update about efforts to secure continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Register for the call here. (The link will be titled “NEACH Quarterly Call.”)

See a related article about states expanding eligibility for former foster youth.

Promoting Oral Health Through the Medicaid Benefit for Children and Adolescents

Wednesday, June 18, 2:00-3:00 pm ET

The National Academy for State Health Policy is sponsoring this webinar, at which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will discuss opportunities and promising strategies for states to leverage the Medicaid’s oral health benefit to better meet the oral health needs of children. This will be followed by a conversation with Medicaid officials from Maryland and Texas about initiatives they have launched to improve delivery of children’s oral health services using this Medicaid benefit. Participants will learn about these states’ strategies for getting Medicaid-enrolled children the oral health services they need, key decision points that led states to their approaches, and practical steps toward implementing them. Register here.

[NOTE:  This webinar is the third in a series on the Medicaid benefit for children and adolescents. Previous webinars in this series focused on improving care delivery to children and engaging adolescents. In conjunction with this webinar series, NASHP has launched a Resource Map on www.nashp.org to disseminate state-specific resources and information about strategies that state policymakers and Medicaid officials can use to deliver the Medicaid benefit for children and adolescents.]

Reclaim Your Health: Management Tips to Reduce Your Stress

Thursday, June 19, 1:00-2:00 pm ET

Presented by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) – 1.0 Advanced-level CECH. This webinar will discuss four stress management strategies and techniques. By applying practical efforts to reduce stress and relax your mind and body, participants will understand the connection between chronic disease and stress. NOTE - Only the first 100 registered attendees will be able to join the live SOPHE webinar. All webinars are recorded and available in archive format on SOPHE's CORE (www.sophe.org/education.cfm) for viewing after the event. Please send questions, comments and feedback to info@sophe.org. Register here.

Webinar on Medicaid 1115 Waivers: How Are They Transforming the Health System?

Thursday, June 19, 1:00–2:30 pm ET

Co-hosted by the Public Health Law Program and the Network for Public Health.

Medicaid 1115 waivers allow states to test new or existing ways to deliver and pay for healthcare services in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Presenters will give public health lawyers, health practitioners, and other stakeholders an overview of Section 1115 Medicaid waivers, describe how states have used them, and discuss how they are affected by healthcare reform. Representatives from Arkansas and Texas will discuss their states’ approaches of using Medicaid 1115 waivers and highlight unique features of how they have chosen to address population health and Medicaid expansion. The webinar is free for all attendees. Some attendees may qualify for CLE credits. Find more information and register for the webinar here.

Health Insurance Literacy and the Marketplace

Thursday, June 19, 4:00 pm ET

Presented by the HHS Office of Minority Health

Join directly at https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW6650566&p=9529414&t=c             
Conference number: PW6650566
Audience passcode: 9529414
Dial-in number: 1(888)455-1840

This meeting will be recorded and you may access the Net replay of this call at:
This recording will be available for 30 days, ending July 19, 2014.            

Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Overview in Spanish
Saturday, June 21, 1:00-2:00 pm ET
The Autism NOW Center, a project of The Arc and the Autism Society of America, will offer a new webinar, entirely in Spanish, about autism spectrum disorders. Presenters will provide an overview of ASD; discuss steps involved in screening and diagnosis; address existing barriers for Latino families; and help connect families to resources in their community. Space is limited. Register here.  Below is an announcement in Spanish that can be shared with families:

Autismo: Una Visión General en Español
Sábado, 21 de Junio, 1:00-2:00 pm ET

Se estima que 1 de cada 68 niños tiene un trastorno del espectro autista (TEA). Las investigaciones muestran que los niños hispanos se les diagnostica a menudo más tarde del promedio nacional. Con las tasas de prevalencia en aumento, es importante que las familias de las comunidades insuficientemente atendidas tengan acceso a información de calidad y recursos.

El Autism Now Center y el Autism Society se han asociado para ofrecer un recurso gratuito para las familias de habla hispana. Únete a nosotros en este seminario, que será ofrecido completamente en español, para aprender más acerca de los trastornos del espectro autista. Los presentadores proporcionar una visión general de la CIA; discutir los pasos involucrados en la detección y el diagnóstico; abordar las barreras existentes para las familias latinas; y ayudar a conectar a las familias a los recursos disponibles en su comunidad. Registrate en este seminario web hoy mismo! Presentadores: Yuliana Diaz, el Autism Society Marisol Ramos, Vision for Equality.

El espacio es limitado. Registrate en este seminario. 

Lessons Learned from Open Enrollment: How MCHB Grantees Are Supporting Families
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm ET
Join the webcast: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/mchb_grantee_aca/

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau will present this webcast about its grantees’ experiences in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Speakers will present enrollment data from the first open enrollment period and highlight the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) New Jersey and SHIELDS for Families’ efforts to educate and support families in accessing and understanding the value of health insurance. Successes and challenges will also be described.

The ABCs about the Impact of Literacy on Affordable Care Act Efforts in the Black Community

Wednesday, June 25, 3:00-4:30 pm ET

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance may be difficult for individuals with limited literacy and health literacy. Individuals with behavioral health conditions also face barriers to accessing and receiving health care.  This webinar is designed to help family members, providers, and community agencies understand and overcome literacy-related barriers related to understanding and enrolling in health coverage under the ACA.  For more information, contact James Sawyer, at 208-353-3826, or m.james.sawyer@yahoo.com.

To join the webinar, please use the following conference line and webinar link:

Call-in Number: 1-888-566-5920

Passcode: SAMHSA

Webinar Link: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW2643763&p=SAMHSA&t=c

Cost Sharing Reductions for American Indians and Alaska Natives who Enroll in Closed Panel Qualified Health Plans

Wednesday, June 25, 3:00-4:30 pm ET. CMS will host an All Tribes’ Call to obtain tribal input and advice regarding cost-sharing reductions for American Indians and Alaska Natives who enroll in closed panel Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in the Health Insurance Marketplace. A closed panel QHP is a type of health maintenance organization (HMO) that does not cover services furnished by a provider outside of the HMO’s network of providers. Contact HHSIEA@hhs.gov with questions or concerns.

The call in number is 1-888-778-9063 and the participant code is 148483.

For more information, please visit go.cms.gov/AIANSpotlight 

Questions or Concerns? Contact HHSIEA@hhs.gov

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ACA Webinars Sponsored by the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:

The HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be offering the following one-hour webinars, which all include a question and answer session. Contact ACA101@hhs.gov if you have problems registering or if you have any questions about the health care law. You may also join the webinar by telephone only. Click on the title of the webinar(s) below to register.

Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured 

Thursday, June 19, 2:00 pm ET

Submit questions to ACA101@hhs.gov by June 18 at 5 pm ET.

To Join By Phone Only, Dial +1 (702) 489-0008
Access Code: 433-467-823. Pin Number is the # key.

Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance

 Wednesday, July 2, 4:00 pm ET

Submit questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to July 1 at noon ET.

 To Join By Phone Only, Dial +1 (480) 297-0021

Access Code: 580-591-872. Pin Number is the # key.

Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured

Wednesday, July 16, 1:00 pm ET

Submit questions to ACA101@hhs.gov by July 15 at 12 pm ET.

To Join By Phone Only, Dial +1 (646) 307-1721

Access Code: 270-706-869. Pin Number is the # key.


Increased Funding for the Title V Block Grant

In a significant victory in this era of budget cuts, the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies passed a bill last week that includes a proposed $5 million increase for the Title V Maternal & Child Health Services Block Grant. The subcommittee bill was subsequently approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill would set the Block Grant funding at $639 million for FY 2015 – the amount that the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (and Family Voices) had requested – which is the same as the pre-sequestration funding level enacted in FY 2012. The corresponding House appropriations subcommittee has not yet marked up its bill, and the timing on its action is uncertain. Because it is typically controversial, the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, as it is known, is often the last appropriations bill to pass each year, or it is folded into a larger “omnibus” appropriations bill.

Autism and Drug-Approval Bills Advance

On June 10, the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up a bill (H.R. 3641), sponsored by Representatives Chris Smith (D-NJ) and Mike Doyle (R-PA), to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act. During the mark-up, the name of the bill was changed to the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (Autism CARES) Act. In addition, other amendments were made so that the bill approved by the House committee is the same as the Autism CARES bill (S. 2449) introduced in the Senate on June 9 by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

Among other things, the bills would designate an official within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to oversee implementation of the law, and require a report from HHS to Congress about policies related to the needs of young adults with developmental disabilities transitioning from school-based services to those needed during adulthood. The full House may act on the bill as soon as this week, and Senate sponsors are hoping that their bill will be approved by the Senate before the July 4 recess.

At the same June 10 mark-up, the Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 4299, introduced by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), which is intended to allow new and innovative drug therapies to get to patients faster. For more information on both bills, see http://energycommerce.house.gov/markup/markup-hr-4299-hr-4709-hr-4631-hr-4795-hr-4801.

CHIP Extension Bill Introduced by Senator Rockefeller

On June 11, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), introduced the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Extension Act of 2014 (S. 2461), to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019. Under current law, federal funding for the program will continue only through September 30, 2015. It is estimated that nearly two million children will lose coverage if funding for the program is not extended. The bill also gives states incentives to strengthen their CHIP programs by, among other things, providing for automatic enrollment of newborns and increasing access to services for children with special health care needs. Senator Rockefeller, who is retiring at the end of this year, was one of the initial champions of the CHIP program as well as other measures to improve child health. A number of children’s health care groups endorsed Senator Rockefeller’s bill, a summary of which can be found here.

Bill on Behavioral Health Coverage for Military Dependents

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced the Caring for Military Children with Developmental Disabilities Act of 2014 (S.2333), a bill to create a permanent medical benefit in the military insurance program, TRICARE, for behavioral health services such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for military dependents with developmental disabilities. Under current TRICARE policies, not all children are guaranteed coverage of such services. This provision has already passed the House through the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2015.

ACA NEWS AND INFORMATION [See below for ACA resources.]

CMS Announces Opportunity to Apply for Navigator Grants in Federally-Facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces

On June 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of $60 million in grants to support Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces in 2014-2015. The funding opportunity announcement is open to eligible individuals, as well as private and public entities, applying to serve as Navigators in states with a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace. It is open to new and returning Navigator applicants. Applications are due July 10, 2014.

Last month, CMS finalized regulations that update the requirements applicable to Navigators. Navigators will now be required to maintain a physical presence in the Marketplace service area, so that face-to-face assistance can be provided to consumers. Navigator grant applicants will also be encouraged to perform background checks for all Navigator staff that will be handling sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII). In addition to quarterly and annual reporting, Navigators will be required to submit to CMS weekly and monthly progress reports detailing their progress and activities in their target communities. Additional information about the funding opportunity can be found here, and FAQs are available here.

To access the funding opportunity announcement, visit: http://www.grants.gov, and search for CFDA # 93.332. Contact HHSIEA@hhs.gov with questions or concerns.

CMS is conducting conference calls for potential grant applicants:

Tuesday, June 24, 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Audience URL: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1036408

Title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 6-24-14

Tuesday, July 1, 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Audience URL: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1036406
Title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 7-1-14

HealthCare.gov Changes

Some changes have been made to the federal Marketplace (Exchange) website, www.HealthCare.gov  to address specific problems or questions that have arisen.

  • Immigrant Applications for Premium Tax Credits or Cost-Sharing Reductions. Under the ACA, some immigrants are barred for five years from eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP but may be eligible for advance premium tax credits (APTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). Previously, this led to complications in applying for insurance through the HealthCare.gov website. A new question has been added to the site to identify such situations.
  • Special Enrollment Periods for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The federal Marketplace website, www.HealthCare.gov,  now includes a new question and answer (Q&A) regarding the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for American Indian and Alaska Native families applying for health insurance through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. The Q&A explains that if one family member on an application is eligible for the SEP, all family members who apply on the same Marketplace application are eligible for the SEP if otherwise eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan. Those who enroll through a state-based marketplace will need to contact their state to see if this policy applies.


Got Transition releases The Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition (Version 2.0)

Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition, a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, has launched its redesigned website, www.GotTransition.org, to provide the latest transition information for health professionals, youth/young adults and families, and researchers and policymakers. It has also released The Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition 2.0, which define the basic components of transition support based on the 2011 Clinical Report on Health Care Transition, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians. Three transition tool packages are now available for (1) practices serving youth transitioning out of pediatric care, (2) practices serving youth remaining with the same provider but needing to transition to adult-focused care, and (3) practices accepting new young adults into adult care. Each package, available in English and Spanish, includes sample tools, feedback surveys, and measurement tools that are customizable and available for download.

National Family Dialogue for Youth with Substance Use Disorders – New Issue Brief

The National Family Dialogue for Youth with Substance Use Disorders (Facebook group) is devoted to ensuring that families have a say in the development of policies related to youth substance abuse. Its leaders have authored a new issue brief, Family Involvement in Child-Serving Systems and the Need for Cross-Systems Collaboration, which reviews what has been accomplished to date in the development of the family voice in all child-serving systems — not just the substance abuse system but also the systems of mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, trauma support, education, and primary care. The authors recommend what needs to occur to create true cross-systems collaboration supporting family involvement, so that youth and their families can fully access the service and supports they need to obtain and maintain optimum health.


Basics of Rate Setting for Family-Run Organizations within a Medicaid Environment.

This May 29 webinar was the second presentation in the Learning Exchange Series for Family-Run Organizations presented by the Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health. The entire webinar with audio recording can be accessed here.

The two primary resources cited on this webinar were Becoming a Medicaid Provider of Family & Youth Peer Support: Considerations for Family-Run Organizations and Medicaid Financing for Family and Youth Peer Support: A Scan of State Programs.

Meaningful Consumer Engagement: Using Consumer Advisory Committees

On June 3, the CMS Medicare and Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), Community Catalyst, and the Lewin Group hosted a webinar, “Meaningful Consumer Engagement: Consumer Advisory Committees.” Presenters provided an overview of strategies for developing and implementing successful Consumer Advisory Committees, discussing the benefits and return on investment of advisory committees, different committee structures, ways to recruit and incentivize participation, training and support tools, and other practical information to assist organizations, advocates and other stakeholders in implementing and enhancing consumer engagement. The slides from this webinar are available here.

AAP Policy Statement on Care Coordination; Free Access to an Online Curriculum
The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a policy statement, Patient- and Family-Centered Care Coordination: A Framework for Integrating Care for Children and Youth Across Multiple Systems, as well as an accompanying article, Beyond the Medical Home: Coordinating Care for Children. To encourage implementation of care coordination, Boston Children’s Hospital offers a free online resource, Pediatric Care Coordination Curriculum.


In case you missed it:

New EPSDT Guide for States on Coverage in the Medicaid Benefit for Children and Adolescents

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have just published a great resource for child health advocates – EPSDT - A Guide for States: Coverage in the Medicaid Benefit for Children and Adolescents – which compiles into a single document various EPSDT (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment) policy guidance that CMS has issued over the years. The Guide was produced in collaboration with the National Health Law Program, and is intended to help states, health care providers, and others to understand the scope of services that are covered under Medicaid’s EPSDT benefit for children.

The Guide outlines EPSDT's screening requirements, including when inter-periodic screening should be provided; the s

cope of services covered under EPSDT, including requirements governing dental, vision, and hearing services; and permissible limitations on service coverage under EPSDT.

In addition, CMS and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) have published an EPSDT Compendium featuring information about states’ EPSDT implementation efforts across dimensions such as care coordination, behavioral health, data collection and reporting, oral health, medical necessity and improving access to care.

CMS has also published two other EPSDT-related guides:


June 23 – Deadline to apply for FREE State-Based and In-Person Advocacy Skills Trainings on Long-Term Care

As part of its Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where Initiative, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) will be offering FREE state-based, in-person advocacy trainings for groups to make an impact on policy and contribute to the Consumer Voice's national efforts. Participants will include long-term care ombudsman programs, consumer advocacy groups, family/caregiving groups, consumer alliances, and community and senior organizations.

The trainings will involve:

  • A pre-training conference call where participants will learn how to strategize around a particular issue. 
  • On-site half-day or full-day training with Consumer Voice staff.

A full-day training will cover all topics listed below; a half-day training will include two out of the four following topics: 

  • How to craft an effective advocacy message.
  • Delivering your message in person: the nuts and bolts of meeting with a key decision maker.
  • Delivering your message: utilizing both traditional approaches and social media.
  • How to grow, support, and activate your network.

More details about the application process and the trainings will follow soon. In the interim, organizations should acquire 20 individuals who want to receive these trainings. Priority will be given to applicants who will be joined by other advocates outside their organization or program. 

Click here to contact Sara Cirba, Advocacy and Development Associate, if you are interested in receiving Consumer Voice's advocacy skills training or have any questions; or call 202-332-2275 ext. 221.

June 30 – Deadline for Former PCIP Enrollees to Enroll in a Qualified Health Plan

The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) terminated on April 30, 2014. Those who were covered under the PCIP will be eligible for a 60-day Special Enrollment Period starting on May 1, enabling them to enroll in a qualified health plan offered through the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace until June 30. State-based Marketplaces are adopting similar special enrollment periods. If the enrollee is otherwise eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan, coverage will be effective back to May 1. An HHS Fact Sheet explaining this process is available here, and the formal notice is available here.