DHCS Posts PPL 19-015, Notification of Change to Physician Prescription Policy

On July 10, 2019, DHCS posted Policy and Procedure Letter (PPL) 19-015 stating that for services dated July 1, 2019, and forward, treatment authorizations (orders/prescriptions) signed by Physician Assistants (“PA”) or Nurse Practitioners (“NP”) are eligible. This means, for example, that the specialized procedure orders that in the past met the criteria but were signed by a PA or NP...

DHCS Releases Report with Final Results of SMAA Deferral & Backcasting Process

On June 28, 2019, DHCS sent out their final report on the results of the SMAA program deferral and backcasting process; results long-awaited by impacted California school districts. The distributed SMAA Report on Results of Backcasting of Deferred Claims includes an executive summary of the final results of this multi-year process, a history of the deferral, and a detailed table showing the...

Pending CMS Guidance on Medicaid Block Grants: Executive Overreach Strikes Again—Center for Children and Families

It has been reported that CMS is developing guidance to encourage states to pursue a new “block grant” or “per capita” cap on federal Medicaid funding through Section 1115 waiver requests. And sure enough, this “Dear State Medicaid Director” letter has appeared on the Office of Management and Budget’s website signaling that it is under review by the White House. For a...

Governor Newsom Has Signed His First State Budget. See What’s In There—California Healthline

Below is the summary by California Healthline in their Daily Edition, of the newly signed California State Budget. See the full article in the Los Angeles Times here. The $214.8-billion budget Gov. Gavin Newsom signed, which is the largest in state history, will cut costs for some Californians and raise taxes on others through a sweeping set of new policies ranging from ending sales taxes on...

DHCS Extends Deadline for FY 2017/18 Q3 SMAA Invoice Submissions

On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, DHCS sent an email to their SMAA mailing list issuing a 30-day extension for the FY 2017/18 Q3 invoices submissions for the SMAA program. The new submission due date is July 31, 2019.   Click here to subscribe to DHCS SMAA mailing list.

Proposal to Change Poverty Calculations Could Cause 30,000 to Lose Public Benefits in California—California Health Report

A Trump administration proposal to change one of the measurements to determine the federal poverty level, a move that could force tens of thousands of state residents to lose their public benefits of the next decade, has California advocacy groups on high alert. The proposal is to switch the calculations for the federal poverty level from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers to the...

U.S. Department of Education Releases Final “Supplement, Not Supplant” Guidance for School Districts

On June 20, 2019, the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released final non-regulatory guidance to support school districts’ compliance with the requirement that federal funds supplement, and do not supplant, state and local funds. "Schools need to spend resources on what's best for students, not what's least likely to come up in an audit," said Secretary DeVos. The release of this final...

June Medi-Cal Bulletin for LEAs Posted

The June 2019 Medi-Cal Bulletin for LEAs has been published to the DHCS website. There was no LEA Billing program-specific information of note in this month's Bulletin. Click here to read the current or past Bulletins.