Two-decade old legal battle over special education oversight nears resolution, brings major changes – EdSource

"The California Department of Education said last week that it will comply with a federal court order to improve significantly its system for monitoring special education, after years of legal maneuvering to block the changes.... The changes in monitoring come as California is taking steps to address a root concern about special education services statewide: why many students with...

Advisory Panel Finalizing School Health Recommendations to DHCS

The Medi-Cal Children's Health Advisory Panel (MCHAP) will be meeting on April 18, 2017 to finalize their recommendations to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on children's behavioral health care, including strengthening school-based health services through the SMAA and LEA programs. The most recent draft of MCHAP's recommendations call on DHCS to work more collaboratively with...

Register by March 17 for Next LEA Advisory Workgroup Meeting

LEAs interested in attending the bi-monthly LEA Advisory Workgroup meeting (also known as the 'LEA Ad-Hoc Meeting') should RSVP to Cheryl Ward at DHCS by Friday, March 17, 2017. The meeting will take place from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Natomas Unified School District in the Staff Development Room, 1931 Arena Boulevard, in Sacramento. Previous meeting notes and agendas can be found on the...

New DHCS Guidance for LEAs Regarding Insurance Carrier Requests

DHCS has released a statement for LEAs who have received communication from private health insurers regarding school health service claims. Over the past year, several LEAs have reported receiving information from private insurers part as of the state's transition to the practice of pay and chase for students with both Medi-Cal and Other Health Coverage (OHC). On March 9, 2017, DHCS emailed...

Bills We’re Tracking: 2017 California Legislation

Two bills have been introduced in the California Legislature for the 2017-18 session that directly relate to the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities (SMAA) and LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option programs. Both bills carry language similar to what was proposed under the Senate Bill (SB) 123, which was vetoed by the Governor last September. We'll be tracking these bills as they are amended...

DHCS Publishes New LEA Billing FAQs

As a follow-up from the Fall 2016 LEA Billing DHCS training held last October, DHCS has released a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers on various program policies. Below, we've included a handful of questions and answers from the document that LEAs may find particularly interesting, specifically regarding: RMTS for LEA Billing Free Care (Non-IEP) Service Billing ...

New Laws Impacting California’s School Medicaid Programs

Throughout the year, Paradigm tracks various state bills that have the potential to impact California's school-based Medicaid programs and publishes a summary of those that have been signed into law and those that failed to make the cut. Click here to download our School Medicaid Report: 2015/16 Legislative Review & Program Impact....

Send Special Ed Funding Directly to Districts, Not Regional Agencies, Report Says – EdSource

"The state should dismantle its system for distributing special education funding for California’s 718,000 students with disabilities and send the money – billions of dollars – directly to local school districts, according to a much anticipated report that’s expected to draw the attention of Gov. Jerry Brown and state education leaders. The recommendations, made by researchers at the...

CMS Approves California’s SMAA Program Manual

On Thursday, November 10, DHCS released the final CMS approved manual and invoice template for the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities (SMAA) program. The new manual is effective back to January 2015, covering the first quarters that California LEAs began using the Random Moment Time Survey (RMTS) method for the SMAA program. The first RMTS claims, for fiscal year 2014-15 Q3, are...