July 16, 2014

July 16 Washington DC Update

July 16 Washington DC Update

Washington DC Update 7/16/14 

{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/.}

[Note below that there is a webinar today, Wednesday, July 16, at 1:00 ET]

Greetings from Washington!  The House and Senate were back in session last week and actually passed some legislation with broad bipartisan support – the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) – which is expected to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Also of interest, the Speaker of the House announced that he will sue the President over the manner in which the administration has implemented the Affordable Care Act!  Read more below.


Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured

Wednesday, July 16, 1:00-2:00 pm ET.

Sponsored by the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

To join by phone only, dial 1-646-307-1721, and enter Access Code: 270-706-869. Pin Number is the # key. Or register here.

Medicaid and CHIP Outreach and Enrollment Considerations in Immigrant Communities

Thursday, July 17, 3:00-4:30 pm ET.
The HHS “Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign” is sponsoring this webinar to explain the Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules and enrollment procedures that apply to immigrants, provide outreach strategies for ensuring the most effective communication with families, and share new resources and ideas for the upcoming Back-to-School season.

Find additional details and register here.

Partnering with Patients, Families, and Communities to Link Interprofessional Practice and Education

Tuesday, July 22, 1:00-2:00 pm ET.

The Macy Foundation will hold a web conference to discuss moving beyond what is typically thought of as “patient engagement” efforts to integrate patients and families as partners throughout the health professions education and delivery system. The webinar will address recommendations in a new report – Partnering with Patients, Families, and Communities: An Urgent Imperative for Health Caredeveloped from an April 2014 meeting of leaders in health professions education and practice, and consumer organizations. Register here.

Mobilizing for Oral Health Equity: An Interdisciplinary Effort

Tuesday, July 22, 1:00-2:00 pm ET.

Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Health Equity Council and the Society for Public Health Education. Speakers will provide a definition of oral health disparities/equity and an overview of its root causes. This will be followed by recommendations on mobilizing for oral health equity through enhanced leadership, networking, and collaboration. Register here.

Improving Transportation Access to Support the Transition of Students with ID & DD

Tuesday, July, 22, 2:00 pm ET. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is sponsoring this webinar, which will focus on multiple strategies to improve transportation access to support the transition of students with intellectual disabilities (ID) and developmental disabilities (DD). Participants will: acquire practical strategies to integrate transportation content in instruction; identify opportunities to connect with community transportation professionals to build transportation supports; and learn about what schools and communities are doing to ensure that students with ID/DD have access to transportation to facilitate their participation in jobs, college, and community living. Click here to register.

How to Become a Certified Application Counselor

Wednesday, July 23, 2:00 pm ET

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will host this webinar to explain how an entity can become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) organization in a state with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace or a State Partnership Marketplace. CMS encourages organizations to attend the webinar, even if they were previously determined to be ineligible, to receive clarification on eligibility requirements. They also encourage submission of questions in advance to Champion@cms.hhs.gov. For more information on the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) program and basic eligibility criteria, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/cac.html.

Link: https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/c4c72314/

Participant Number: 1-800-837-1935; Conference ID: 54119588

Beyond the Screening: Treatment Services under the EPSDT Medicaid Benefit for Children and Adolescents

Thursday, July 24, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET 

At this webinar, sponsored by the National Academy for State Health Policy, officials from CMS will provide a federal perspective on how states can leverage the Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit for children to meet the treatment needs of children and adolescents. This will be followed by a conversation with presenters from Colorado and Washington about treatment services under the EPSDT benefit and their processes for determining service coverage. This webinar is the fourth in a series on the Medicaid benefit for children and adolescents; the final webinar in the series will focus on care coordination services for children. Previous webinars in the series focused on improving service delivery for childrenengaging adolescents, and promoting oral health. In conjunction with this webinar series, NASHP 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. Contact Mike Stanek (mstanek@nashp.org) with any questions. Register here. 

Medical Diagnosis and Health Care Justice
Wednesday, July 30, 2:00 pm ET

Sponsored by The Arc, this webinar will discuss medical diagnostics and healthcare justice, with leaders from the US Access Board and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. Attendees will learn updates on the current medical diagnostics rule as well as how to educate others in their communities about health care provider misconceptions and stereotypes. Register here.


Speaker Boehner Plans to Sue the President

On July 10, House Speaker John Boehner announced that he plans to sue the President on behalf of the House of Representatives, asserting that the President over-stepped his executive powers by postponing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employers offer insurance coverage to employees. See this story from The Hill. Some observers suspect that the suit is a way to divert calls by some to impeach the President. While the White House has characterized the threatened suit as a political stunt, at least some legal experts believe it might have merit. See this article from the Daily Beast. A draft resolution issued by the Speaker will be considered by the House Rules Committee on July 16.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

On July 9, the House of Representatives approved the Senate-passed version of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) by a strong bipartisan vote of 415-6, so the bill will now go to the President for his signature. The legislation reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act and includes provisions intended to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Specifically, it reauthorizes and updates existing federal workforce development programs, including the Rehabilitation Act, which provides for vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. The legislation, widely supported by disability organizations, focuses vocational rehabilitation outcomes on competitive, integrated employment (as opposed to sheltered employment). Among other things, it is intended to ensure to the greatest extent possible that youth with disabilities and students with disabilities who are transitioning from special education services either continue their education or secure employment in competitive integrated employment settings. See a preliminary summary of the bill prepared by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Disability Treaty

Negotiations in the Senate regarding ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are thought to be in a critical stage, and disability advocates are making a concerted effort to get the treaty ratified by securing the support of an additional five Senators. The U.S. signed the treaty in 2009, but the Senate has yet to ratify it. In 2012, a ratification vote failed. The CRPD is an international human rights treaty that promotes greater access to education, employment, community living, and civic participation for people with disabilities. Numerous other countries have ratified it. Detailed information about the treaty can be found at DisabilityTreaty.org. The website of the National Council on Disability also provides information about the CRPD, including a history and an explanation of the treaty’s impact (which refutes some of the opponents’ claims about it).

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act

On July 8, Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act (H.R. 5024), which will provide up to five years of credit toward Social Security benefits to individuals who left the workforce to care for loved ones. The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

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

Fewer Adults Uninsured after ACA’s First Open-Enrollment Period

From the Commonwealth Fund at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2014/jul/Health-Coverage-Access-ACA:

A new Commonwealth Fund survey finds that in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, significantly fewer working-age adults are uninsured than just before the sign-up period began, and many have used their new coverage to obtain needed care.

The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 64 declined from 20 percent in the July-to-September 2013 period to 15 percent in the April-to-June 2014 period. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured. Young men and women drove a large part of the decline: the uninsured rate for 19-to-34-year-olds declined from 28 percent to 18 percent, with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. By June, 60 percent of adults with new coverage through the marketplaces or Medicaid reported they had visited a doctor or hospital or filled a prescription; of these, 62 percent said they could not have accessed or afforded this care previously. …

Get the full report here.


Medicaid Enrollment Increase

From a July 11, 2014 blog post by Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Director of the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services:

Medicaid enrollment continues to increase all across the country, especially in those states that have expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.

As of the end of May, 6.7 million more individuals were enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as compared to the baseline period from July through September 2013, an increase of 11.4 percent. That includes more than 920,000 additional people enrolled in May as compared to April in the 48 states and the District of Columbia that reported data. …

This month, for the first time, we are also reporting separately the total number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP for those states that are reporting the relevant data for each month in 2014. In the 38 states that reported relevant data, more than half of all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees are children, highlighting the importance of these programs to the health and well-being of our nation’s children. Read the July 11th report on Medicaid and CHIP enrollment.

HHS Asks Six States to Resolve Medicaid Backlogs

The Department of Health and Human Services has asked Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Tennessee to submit remediation plans to resolve problems that have prevented over 1 million low-income or disabled people from enrolling in their Medicaid programs. The states were supposed to submit their plans by July 14. See this story from Kaiser Health News.

Medicaid Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

As reported last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin on July 7 with respect to services available under the Medicaid program to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism Speaks has issued an article describing the significance of this development – that children with ASD on Medicaid will now be able to get Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and other therapies (e.g., physical, occupational and speech therapies) for their conditions. Under the guidance, services can be delivered by appropriately credentialed non-licensed practitioners as well as licensed practitioners, which is important in states that do not license providers such as behavior analysts, but instead rely on national certification for credentialing. 

Helping States to Advance Medicaid Payment and Delivery System Reforms

Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced a new innovative collaboration with states, the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program to improve care for Medicaid beneficiaries by accelerating state efforts to reform their health care systems to both improve health care and reduce costs. The goals and activities of build on many of the recent recommendations made by the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Health Care Sustainability Task Force. HHS will provide over $100 million in technical support to help states in these efforts. The program will develop Medicaid-specific resources by identifying and advancing new Medicaid service delivery and financing models, data analytics, and advancing timely dissemination of best practices among states, among other things. Additional information on the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program is available here. Contact HHSIEA@hhs.gov with any questions or concerns.


HHS Blog: Making it Easy to Maintain Marketplace Coverage Next Year

This HHS blog explains how the agency is trying to make it easy for people to maintain their Marketplace coverage next year. Here are the 7 things people should know about renewing their health coverage and auto-enrollment during the 2014-2015 Open Enrollment Period.

REPEAT: Health Insurance Literacy

“From Coverage to Care” resources from HHS, including health insurance literacy tools and videos, are available (in English and Spanish) at marketplace.cms.gov/c2c.

For questions about health insurance literacy and other Marketplace partner resources, contact Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.


New Resources about EPSDT Services in Medicaid, for Professionals and Families

The Maternal and Child Health Library (MCH Library) at Georgetown University released a new knowledge path, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Services in Medicaid, which points to resources about providing and strengthening EPSDT and includes tools for state Medicaid programs, health care practices, training, and finding data, journal articles, reports, and other materials. The knowledge path is available at http://www.mchlibrary.org/KnowledgePaths/kp_EPSDT.html.

A separate brief helps families find care, services, and support for their children, learn more about EPSDT, and find tools to help them play a more active role in their children's EPSDT-related visits. The brief is available at http://www.mchlibrary.org/families/frb_EPSDT.html.

Ten Things to Know about the ADA

Disability.gov, the U.S. federal government website for information on disability programs and services, has published this piece to convey ten things people should but may not know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Identifying Locations of Vulnerable Populations for Outreach and Grant Proposals

Community Commons has released a new tool that "enables you to map your vulnerable populations and define your community at the tract level. You can save and share your maps for collaborative decision making and/or publish the resulting demographic reports.”   The tool should enable users to clearly define target communities, and identify the most vulnerable populations, thus strengthening planning and grant applications to advance health equity and improve health outcomes.

Good Nutrition and Obesity Prevention

The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), which is the state’s Family-to-Family Health Information Center, has developed materials providing strategies for families of children with special health care needs to maintain and improve their health. The materials specifically address the impact of obesity and nutrition for families of children with special health care needs. Through the Wyoming Family to Family Health Care Information Center website, families can access video modules on health topics and download accompanying factsheets on a number of topics. All materials can be accessed at http://www.uwyo.edu/wind/f2f.

Worth Repeating:

REPEAT: Fact Sheets on Medicaid Basics

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has just published new or updated fact sheets aimed at helping consumers understand the basics of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, benefits and enrollment processes. The fact sheets feature a variety of images, are available in English and Spanish, and can be customized with your organization’s name and contact information. There are two sets of fact sheets – one tailored for states that have expanded Medicaid and the other for states that have not expanded Medicaid. There are also specific fact sheets for use in American Indian/Alaska Native communities, for whom different rules may apply. The full set of fact sheets can be found at http://www.medicaid.gov/AffordableCareAct/Medicaid-Moving-Forward-2014/Basics-for-Consumers/Fact-Sheet-Basics-for-Consumers.html, along with instructions on how to get help customizing them with a local phone number, logos, and other information (although they can be used without customization as well).

REPEAT: “Data Vignettes” Illustrating Data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs

The Georgetown National Center for Cultural Competence has added another story to the Data Vignettes web feature. These Data Vignettes were developed to put faces and names to the data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, and contain links to additional resources related to concepts discussed and a set of questions for discussion. The stories are composites from many families and do not represent any specific family or child. They can be used for personal learning and development or to augment curricula and training activities for health care providers, policy makers, public health professionals, researchers and agency staff. The new vignette about Carol and John looks at the life course of a family and how intergenerational issues can affect the outcomes of a child with special health care needs.

REPEAT: Medicaid Reimbursement for In-Home Care Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin intended to assist states in understanding Medicaid reimbursement options that will enable them to account for the cost of overtime and travel time that may be compensable as the result of the changes to the Department of Labor’s regulations regarding domestic service employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Informational Bulletin can be accessed on Medicaid.gov under Federal Policy Guidance at   

www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/CIB-07-03-2014.pdf .


Please note:  There will be no Washington Update next week.