Supporting partnerships between Managed Care Plans and Schools
During the pandemic, California’s children and youth faced endless new challenges, stressors, and trauma, exacerbating an already troubling uptick in mental health needs.
Schools must be at the heart of our efforts to connect with and heal youth, but all child-serving systems need to break through historical silos and provide a robust, coordinated response to identifying and meeting children’s needs, early and effectively.
California’s Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI), an unprecedented investment in improving mental health care for the state’s children and youth, offers an incentive program for Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans (MCPs) to foster partnerships with schools and increase access to school-based and school-linked care for students on Medi-Cal.
November 2021: SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH 101: A Primer for Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans
The goal of this primer, developed in partnership with the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL), California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), and Hopelab, is to facilitate effective partnerships between Managed Care Plans (MCPs) and Schools to address the growing mental health crisis among school-age youth.
Holding Managed Care Organizations Accountable to Vulnerable Children
Medi-Cal insures more than 5 million children in the state, and nearly all (96%) of these children get their care delivered through a Managed Care Organization (MCO). However, only 5 percent of children insured by Medi-Cal—a majority of whom are children of color— receive federally mandated early behavioral, social, and developmental screenings (EPSDT), and we still rank 44th in the nation in access to mental health services for children.
The following reports and accompanying information briefs are part of the Equity Through Engagement (ETE) project—a partnership of The Children’s Partnership, The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequity, and California Children’s Trust—that examines opportunities for Medi-Cal managed care to better partner with community collaboratives, community based organizations and families to advance child health equity.
Reports and Briefs
July 2022: Caring for Kids the Right Way
In our new report, a companion to our September 2021 Care Coordination for Children in Medi-Cal issue brief, we present successful children’s care coordination models and examples of care coordination in action. These models examine ways to achieve the state’s ambitious goal of reforming the nation’s largest Medicaid program by addressing the well-documented challenges managed care plans have in offering preventive care and taking action on the social drivers of health.
July 2022: Family Voices Matter
Our Family Voices Matter report, and accompanying executive summary and family voices snapshot, confirmed the urgent need for Managed Care Organizations to better partner with families as an essential step toward improving children’s mental health equity.
September 2021: CARE COORDINATION FOR CHILDREN IN MEDI-CAL
This brief was prepared to support advocacy efforts during the MCO re-procurement process. The brief provides an overview of the current MCO care coordination obligation for all children in Medi-Cal, offers recommendations for improvement, and links to additional resources.
Response Letters to DHCS: Medi-Cal Managed Care Contracts and Procurement
On September 1, 2020, DHCS released a Request for Input (RFI) as the first step in soliciting public review and response in the MCO re-procurement process. In partnership with several child-serving organizations, we provided DHCS with detailed input to the RFI in October 2020. Additionally, we worked with partner organizations to provide detailed responses to the Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) in July 2021.
RFP Response from TCP, CACFS and CCT
July 1, 2021
RFP Response from Education Partners
July 1, 2021
RFP Response from CCY Youth Leaders
July 1, 2021
RFP Response from Children's Advocates Group
July 1, 2021
RFI Response from CACFS and CCT
October 1, 2020
RFI Response from Children's Organizations
October 1, 2020
Capturing the Promise of Medi-Cal and EPSDT
We are committed to putting a spotlight on the unfulfilled promise of Medi-Cal funding to address the striking acuity of the children’s mental health crisis. The need to access these resources and services is critical, now more than ever, when we are seeing dramatic increases in suicide and other indicators of a mental health crisis. In a June 2020 CDC study, 1 in 4 youth ages 18 to 24 said they had “seriously considered” suicide in the past 30 days— more than twice as high as any other age group.
January 2021: MEETING THE MOMENT: UNDERSTANDING EPSDT AND IMPROVING IMPLEMENTATION IN CALIFORNIA
This report, developed in partnership with the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), offers advocates and policymakers specific recommendations for how California can fulfill its obligation under the Medi-Cal entitlement to provide mental health services and support for our children and youth.For additional background, refer to the accompanying Primer on Medi-Cal Managed Care.
December 2020: COVERAGE OF SERVICES TO PROMOTE CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
This issue brief, developed in partnership with national experts Mental Health America and the Well Being Trust, lays out the analysis of how current state Medicaid and commercial health insurance payment policies fail to adequately reimburse for effective interventions to promote positive child and family mental health.
July 2019: FINANCING NEW APPROACHES TO ACHIEVE CHILD WELL-BEING
This brief outlines fiscal opportunities to initiate and invest in a fundamental reimagining of how public child-serving systems approach and support children’s social, emotional, mental, and developmental health in California.
Continuing What CalAIM Started
California has a generational opportunity to reform our state’s troubled Medicaid program. In October 2019 the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) presented a reform agenda through the CalAIM proposal. We released our analysis of the proposal in November 2019.
An astonishing amount of progress has been made in a short period of time, but current events jeopardize that momentum. COVID-19 and demands for racial injustice underscore the urgent need to advance CalAIM’s children’s behavioral health reform effort.
June 2020: THE URGENT NEED TO ADVANCE CALAIM’S CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH REFORM EFFORT
This brief and the accompanying presentation from CMHACY 2020 outline the path forward to realize the behavioral health sector reforms that will enable California to better serve vulnerable children and families.
November 2019: CCT’S ANALYSIS OF CALAIM
CalAIM proposes real and substantive changes for specialty mental health. It is far and away the most ambitious and courageous action by DHCS on mental health in more than 20 years. However, the proposal does not do enough to center racial justice, or properly or effectively clarify how it will promote or incentivize delivery system reform and child-serving system integration and expansion.
June 2020: DHCS SIGNALS INTENT TO REFORM MEDICAL NECESSITY AND EXPAND ACCESS
On June 19 the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) published a new “game-changing” Family Therapy Benefit Guide. These guidelines are the most fundamental reform to medical necessity criteria in the history of the state’s mental health system. They allow for Z codes (psychosocial concerns) and the criteria are trauma-informed and relevant to our state’s efforts to respond to the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the social and emotional health of children. These changes were an essential recommendation that the California Children’s Trust and its partners made during the CalAIM process. Read.
Response Letters to DHCS: December 2019 – May 2021
With our reform partners, we have been carefully monitoring updates to the CalAIM proposal and submitting written feedback to DHCS. Following are our response letters.
CalAIM 1915(b) Waiver Proposal California Coalition for Youth Response and Recommendations
May 6, 2021
Behavioral Health Integration with California Alliance
February 21, 2020
Medical Necessity with California Alliance
January 3, 2020
Payment Reform with California Alliance & ACHSA
December 23, 2019
California Children’s Trust & Educators Collaborative
December 16, 2019
California Children’s Trust & Children’s Health Collaborative
December 16, 2019
Feedback & Recommendations from the California Children’s Trust
December 16, 2019