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CDCAN REPORT (JAN 21 2015): STATE CAPITOL UPDATES – BRIEFLY ON SEVERAL EVENTS & ISSUES

posted by: Amed Realty in Uncategorized

CDCAN Disability-Senior Rights Report:  State Capitol Updates – Briefly (new report covering several issues, meetings, events)
 

CDCAN DISABILITY-SENIOR RIGHTS REPORT
CALIFORNIA DISABILITY-SENIOR COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
JANUARY 21, 2014 –  WEDNESDAY EVENING

Advocacy Without Borders: One Community – Accountability With Action
CDCAN Reports go out to over 65,000 people with disabilities, mental health needs, seniors, people with traumatic brain and other injuries, people with MS, Alzheimer’s and other disorders, veterans with disabilities and mental health needs, families, workers, community organizations, facilities and advocacy groups including those in the Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, American Indian, Indian, African-American communities; policymakers, and others across the State. 
Sign up for these free reports by going to the CDCAN website.  Website: www.cdcan.us
To reply to THIS Report write:
Marty Omoto at [email protected] or [email protected]  [new email – will eventually replace current [email protected] address]   Twitter: martyomoto
Office Line: 916-418-4745  CDCAN Cell Phone:  916-757-9549

ED ROBERTS DAY – JANUARY 23, 2015
Remembering the Life and Legacy of A Remarkable Groundbreaking Advocate for People Disabilities, Mental Health Needs, the Blind and Seniors & Families 

CDCAN NOTE: This is a new CDCAN Report (in addition to the longer reports covering focusing on one issue, event or subject) that will be issued at least once and as often as several times a week depending on my caffeine levels.  Let me know what you think (not about caffeine but the report).  Happy new year! My only daughter got happily married December 31st and I walked her down the aisle!  – Marty Omoto

CDCAN STATE CAPITOL UPDATES – BRIEFLY

  • Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Treatment Meeting
  • Public Comment & Townhalls on California Reducing Disparities Project Draft Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities
  • State Budget Updates  – No Word Yet From DDS on 5.82% Rate Adjustment – On Hold Since Jan 6 Notice Following Impact of Federal Court Rulings On Home Care Overtime
  • State Budget Updates – Senate Budget Committee Budget Overview Hearing & New Staff Assignments for Assembly Budget Subcommittees
  • Joe Xavier Confirmed by Senate Rules Committee As Director of Department of Rehabilitation By Vote 5 to 0
  • Department of Public Health Fines LA Skilled Nursing Facility For Death of Resident
  • State Workgroup On Prescription Drug Deaths

MEDI-CAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREATMENT BENEFIT STAKEHOLDER MEETING JAN 22 THU 3-5 PM BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREATMENT STAKEHOLDER MEETING
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The Department of Health Care Services is holding the 5th of a series of on-going public stakeholder meetings on the status and next steps including transitions, for the new Medi-Cal health behavioral health treatment benefit, on January 22, Thursday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00Pm at the Department of Health Care Services Auditorium, 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento,C A 95814.  The first such stakeholder meeting was held on September 4, 2014.
An interim temporary Medi-Cal behavioral health treatment benefit was put in place effective September 15, 2014 until the permanent benefit (as defined in the proposed Medicaid State Plan Amendment or SPA that the State submitted to the federal government on September 30, 2014 is approved (see below for link to view or download the amendment).  See below also for All Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plans Letter, dated September 15, 2014, providing guidance on the temporary benefit.
Children ages 0 to 21 receiving Applied Behavioral Analysis services funded through the 21 non-profit regional centers under the Department of Developmental Services will continue to receive those same services for at least 12 months (from September 2014) until a transition plan can be developed by the State (this instruction is part of the guidance in the All Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plans Letter dated September 15, 2014).
Persons not able to attend the in-person meeting in Sacramento can participate via webinar/conference call, but must register first in order to participate either by computer or telephone by go to the “gotowebinar” link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8673702348521079810
Persons will receive, after they register, a confirmation email that will contain information on how to join the webinar.
The Department of Health Care Services submitted the proposed Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 30, 2014 to seek the necessary approval to include Behavioral Health Treatment (BHT) as a covered Medi–Cal service for individuals under 21 years of age as required under State law (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14132.56) that was part of the 2014-2015 State Budget enacted last June.
Behavioral Health Treatment services includes Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and other evidence-based behavioral intervention services that develop or restore, to the “maximum extent practicable”, the functioning of a Medi-Cal recipient with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as a covered Medi-Cal benefit for children 0 to 21 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorders to the “extent required by the federal government”.
State law requires the department to “consult with stakeholders” in helping the Department of Health Care Services to develop and define eligibility criteria, provider participation criteria, utilization controls (use of the benefit by recipients), and the delivery system for behavioral health treatment services, subject to the limitations allowed under federal law.
The addition of the benefit has been long pushed for years by disability advocates including families of children with autism spectrum and related disorders after passage in 2011 of SB 946 (that went into effect January 1, 2012) by then Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg that required private health plans and insurance to provide that benefit, but excluded publicly funded benefits like Medi-Cal. That exclusion ended with 2014-2015 State Budget enacted in June 2014, followed by the official guidance issued in July 2014  by the federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services that required the states to include the benefit.
Additional Meetings (all at the Department of Health Care Services Auditorium in Sacramento: February 19, 2015 (Thursday) 3:00 to 5:00 PM; March 19, 2015 (Thursday) 3:00 to 5:00 PM, April 23, 2015 (Thursday) 09:30 to 11:30 AM; and May 22, 2015 (Friday) 09:30 to 11:30 AM.
For more information:
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES WEBPAGE – BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREATMENT – this is webpage on the department’s website focused on the stakeholder work and related documents and resources including the Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) that California submitted:
http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/BehavioralHealthTreatment.aspx
CALIFORNIA’S MEDICAID STATE PLAN AMENDMENT – BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREAMENT (Submitted to the Federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid on September 30, 2014 for approval – status is “pending”) – PDF Image File (10 pages):
http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/formsandpubs/laws/Documents/14-026_REDACTED_PACKAGE.pdf
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES ALL MEDI-CAL MANAGED CARE HEALTH PLANS LETTER – SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 – PDF Document File (15 Pages):
http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Documents/APL_14-011_and_Attachments.pdf

PUBLIC COMMENT: “CALIFORNIA REDUCING DISPARITIES PROJECT” DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN TO REDUCE MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES RELEASED FOR COMMENT UNTIL FEB 175 PM
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The public comment period is open until February 17th (Tuesday) 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) for the California Reducing Disparities Project’s (CRDP) 61 page draft “Strategic Plan To Reduce Mental Health Disparities” that contains community-based ideas to reduce mental health disparities in racial, ethnic, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities (see below for link to view or download the draft plan).
The draft strategic plan was released for public comment on January 12th in announcement by the Department of Public Health in coordination with the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) that is a partner with the department in the project.  [CDCAN Note: the January 12th announcement by the Department of Public Health shows the public comment period ending February 12th which based on information on the California Reducing Disparities Project webpage, states the ending date as February 17th (including listing a townhall meeting to make comments also scheduled for that date).]
In addition to the public comments that can be made via email, interested persons can attend and make comments at any one of a series of five townhalls that will be held from January 26th through February 17th (see below for information and locations).
“We are excited about CRDP which is a result of polyethnic and multicultural community and stakeholder engagement,” said Jahmal Miller, deputy director of the Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity, adding that “Ultimately, the end goal for everyone involved is to improve health outcomes and quality of care within vulnerable communities through action and increased awareness.”
Funded by Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), the draft Strategic Plan was drafted by California Pan-Ethnic Health Network in collaboration with six partners in the California Reducing Disparities Project – a project established for the prevention and early intervention to reduce mental health disparities in underserved populations.
The draft Strategic Plan, according to the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, is meant to represent the voice of African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities in California, as captured by five Strategic Planning Workgroups under the California Reducing Disparities Project.
The purpose of the draft Strategic Plan is to provide community-based and community-driven direction to reduce disparities in racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ communities by identifying culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies to improve access, services, and outcomes for those populations, and providing recommendations to State policymakers  for funding and evaluating “….culturally-rooted, community-defined promising practices” over a four-year pilot program.
The Department of Public Health and the California Reducing Disparities Project urges the public to comment and to focus on whether the draft Strategic Plan is “…accurate, understandable, and reflective of the needs of your community and the state”. Persons making a public comment should indicate the section, page number, and sentence(s) or paragraph(s) to which the comment is referring to.
The California Reducing Disparities Project suggest those interested in making public comments to use the following questions to guide their feedback: Is any information missing in the strategic plan? Is there anything not addressed in this draft that you think should be included?  They also ask that people making comments to “…identify any information that you think is incorrect or unclear. If you can, provide us with the correct or more current information or additional references to support your feedback (such as book title, article, report, or website)”.
How to Submit Your Review Please send all comments and feedback via email to:
[email protected]
PDF Document Cop (61 Pages) the Draft Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities:
https://cpehn.org/sites/default/files/crdpstrategicplan2014final2.pdf
OTHER LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Department of Public Health – California Reducing Disparities Project webpage:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/StakeholdersGeneratedReports.aspx
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network – Draft Strategic Plan To Reduce Mental Health Disparities Webpage:
http://cpehn.org/page/statewide-strategic-plan-reduce-mental-health-disparities
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network website:
http://cpehn.org/

TOWNHALL MEETINGS HOSTED BY CALIFORNIA PAN-ETHNIC HEALTH NETWORK TO BEGIN JANUARY 26 TO FEBRUARY 17 FOR PUBLIC TO MAKE COMMENTS ON DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN TO REDUCE MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – Interested persons and stakeholders may provide feedback and public comments in person at any one of a series of five town hall meetings hosted by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) scheduled to begin January 26th through February 17th in different parts of the State.  People can also submit public comments on the draft plan via email at: [email protected]
Public comment period is from January 12th through February 17th 5:00 PM (either via email or through attending any one of the five townhalls scheduled).
Technical problems with registering online for any of the five townhalls contact: Pam Flood at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network at (510) 832-1160 x303
Contact Ruben Cantu at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network for any specific needs at the townhalls , such as food, interpreter services (will be available by request), and/or accessibility at (510) 832-1160 x301 or [email protected]
Logistics for townhalls: Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Parking and public transportation information will be sent upon registration (each townhall has separate registration – see below).
Townhall meeting materials:  copies of the 61-page draft Strategic Plan will not be provided at any of the townhalls,  but copies of key sections and other handouts will be provided. Other materials, including an agenda and PowerPoint presentation, will be posted on the specific townhall page (see below) a few days before the event.
The schedule of townhalls are:

JANUARY 26, 2015 – MONDAY
FRESNO
Time:  09:00 to 1:30 PM
Where: Downtown Business Hub, 1444 Fulton Street, Fresno, CA
Go to this link to register for Fresno townhall: http://cpehn.org/event/425
For more information about the Fresno townhall: https://cpehn.org/civicrm/event/register?id=425&reset=1

JANUARY 28, 2015 – WEDNESDAY
OAKLAND
Time:  09:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Where: Nile Hall, Preservation Park, 668 13th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Go to this link to register for Oakland townhall: https://cpehn.org/civicrm/event/register?id=424&reset=1
For more information about the Oakland townhall: http://cpehn.org/event/424

FEBRUARY 4, 2015 – WEDNESDAY
SAN DIEGO
Time:  09:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Where:  Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92102
Go to this link to register for San Diego townhall: https://cpehn.org/civicrm/event/register?id=427&reset=1
For more information about the San Diego townhall: http://cpehn.org/event/427

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 – THURSDAY
LOS ANGELES
Time: 09:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Where:  California Community Foundation, Joan Palevsky Center for the Future of Los Angeles, 281 South Figueroa Street, Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90012
Go to this link to register for Los Angeles townhall: https://cpehn.org/civicrm/event/register?id=426&reset=1
For more information about the Los Angeles Townhall: http://cpehn.org/event/426

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 – TUESDAY
EUREKA
Time:  09:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Where:  Humboldt County Office of Education Annex, 901 Myrtle Avenue Eureka, CA 95501
Go to this link to register for Eureka townhall:  https://cpehn.org/civicrm/event/register?id=428&reset=1
For more information about the Eureka Townhall:  http://cpehn.org/event/428

STATE BUDGET UPDATE: NO WORD YET FROM DEPT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES ON 5.82% RATE ADJUSTMENT FOR SUPPORTED LIVING, IN-HOME RESPITE & PERSONAL SERVICES
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – As Wednesday evening (January 21st), there is no word yet from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) on the fate of the 5.82% rate adjustment – originally scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2015, for regional center funded Supported Living Services, In-Home Respite Services and Personal Assistance Services, that are home care services impacted by the December 22, 2014 and January 14, 2015 federal district court rulings that struck down two key provisions of the US Department of Labor Home Care regulations that required overtime, travel and wait time pay for previously exempted home care workers.  A new notice from the department to the regional centers about the rate adjustment is expected soon. Some advocates are pressing the Brown Administration to allow the 5.82% rate adjustment to still go into effect for those services given the impact of on-going previous budget reductions, and the impact of new State and federal mandates, including another increase to the State minimum wage coming in January 2016. Other advocates however do not expect the adjustment to go into effect.
On January 6th the Department of Developmental Services issued a notice to all 21 non-profit regional centers who are under contract by the department to assess eligibility and coordinate services provided by community-based organizations and individuals for over 270,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities, that the 5.82% rate adjustment meant to help cover the impact of the new federal regulations, would not go into effect until further notice pending clarification of federal district court rulings. That January 6th notice remains in effect until replaced by a new one.   [CDCAN will issue report as soon as any new notice is released]
That federal district court in Washington, DC, after striking down the third party employer provisions of the US Department of Labor home care regulations on December 22nd,  issued on December 31st, an order that temporarily delayed implementation of the remaining major provision of the federal home care regulations dealing with companionship services until January 15th, to allow time for a hearing (on January 9th) for the court to hear and decide a lawsuit that wanted that provision also struck down.  The court held a hearing on January 9th but did not issue any ruling until January 14th.  The US Department of Labor issued a statement “strongly disagreeing” with the court rulings and is considering an appeal.  The department has 60 days from the ruling to do so.
The Department of Social Services, the state agency that oversees statewide the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program issued on December 31st a notice to all IHSS recipients and workers that overtime, wait and travel time pay scheduled to go into effect January 1st would be temporarily halted until there was clarification from the federal court.  On January 15th, following the court ruling on January 14th (and the previous ruling on December 22nd), the Department of Social Services issued another notice to all IHSS recipients and workers, and also a media notice, announcing that overtime, wait and travel time pay, which never went into effect, would not be implemented due to the federal court rulings.
The 2015-2016 State Budget as proposed by Governor Brown on January 10th, still includes $707.6 million ($314.3 million of that in State funds) to cover overtime, wait and travel time for IHSS workers from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.  The 2014-2015 State Budget as enacted last June also still includes $403.5 million ($182.6 million of that in State general funds) to cover costs of overtime from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.  Also proposed in the 2015-2016 State Budget is proposed funding of $24.4 million ($13.1 million of that in State general funds) to cover the costs of the 5.82% rate adjustment for Supported Living Services, In-Home Respite Services and Personal Assistance Services funded through the 21 regional centers to cover the impact of the federal home care regulations.   The Governor’s proposed 2015-2015 State Budget also still includes restoration of 7% across-the-board cut in service hours for IHSS recipients that went into effect in July 2013 (first as an 8% reduction, then reduced in July 2014 to 7%), assuming the federal government approves a revamped provider tax on Medi-Cal Managed Care health plan, effective July 1, 2015.  The cost of the restoration is estimated in the budget at $483.1 million total funds – and is not impacted by the overtime pay issue.
With that funding and proposed funding still in the enacted and proposed budget plans, it is not known yet what will happen next on the issue of overtime pay for home care workers at least in California.  That issue was long fought for by many advocates for home care workers and recipients, including unions. Other advocates raised concerns, at least on the impact of how the State intended to implement overtime pay, with weekly caps on the number of hours that could be worked for IHSS and Medicaid Waiver Personal Care workers.  With funding still in the enacted and proposed budget plans, advocates who want overtime pay for home care workers, could still push for a new State law either outside or inside the budget process that would require overtime for those workers.  Advocates from other systems of care and other budget areas also have their eye on that funding.
Letter To All IHSS Recipients And Workers On Regarding Stopping Implementation Of Overtime Pay From The Department Of Social Services – PDF Document Copy (1 Page):
http://www.cdss.ca.gov/agedblinddisabled/res/fedOT/1-15-15IHSSRecProvLetter.pdf
Notice to All Regional Centers Dated January 6, 2015 on 5.82% Rate Adjustment – PDF Document Copy (3 Pages) [this notice remains in effect until replaced by a new notice]:
http://www.dds.ca.gov/VendorInfo/docs/January2015-RateAdj.pdf

STATE BUDGET UPDATE: SENATE BUDGET & FISCAL REVIEW COMMITTEE WILL HOLD OVERVIEW ON GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL ON JANUARY 22
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, chaired by Senator Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco) will hold a hearing for an overview of Governor Brown’s proposed 2015-2016 State Budget, Thursday morning (January 22nd) at 09:30 AM or upon adjournment of the State Senate floor session at the State Capitol in Room 4203.  The hearing will be televised and streamed live by CalChannel (see below for link).
No action will be taken at this hearing and no proposals will be heard in detail, which the various budget subcommittees in each house will hear and take public comment on during budget subcommittee hearings that will likely begin in early March.  Brief public comment will be taken at the hearing.
The full Assembly Budget Committee, chaired by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (Democrat – San Diego) held a similar overview hearing last week.
Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Agenda (see below for link to view or download actual copy):
    1. Presentations by:
Keely Bosler, Chief Deputy Director, Department of Financet
Mac Taylor, Legislative Analyst Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO)
2. 
Public Comment
Members of the Senate and Fiscal Review Committee (16 members total): Mark Leno (Chair), Jim Nielsen (Vice Chair), Benjamin Allen, Joel Anderson, Jim Beall, Marty Block, Loni Hancock, Holly J. Mitchell, Bill Monning, Mike Morrell, Janet Nguyen, Richard Pan, Fran Pavley, Richard D. Roth, Jeff Stone, and Lois Wolk
Committee Staff: Staff Director: Mark Ibele. Deputy Staff Director: Farra Bracht. Consultants: Michelle Baass, Catherine Freeman, Samantha Lui, Julie Salley–Gray, Brady Van Engelen and Elisa Wynne. Assistants: Sandy Perez and Mary Teabo.
Committee Office Phone: (916) 651-4103
Committee Office: State Capitol, Room 5019 [not the location of hearings].
AGENDA – JANUARY 22, 2015 Hearing from Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Webpage (PDF Document Copy – 44 pages with “Quick Summary of the Governor’s Proposed 2015-2016 State Budget”): http://sbud.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbud.senate.ca.gov/files/FullC/1222015SBFRHearingAgenda.pdf:
CALCHANNEL webpage for live streamed video of Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee:
http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/
CALCHANNEL webpage for local cable TV listings of the channel (by cable carrier and areas served):
http://www.calchannel.com/local-listing/

STATE BUDGET UPDATE: NEW ASSEMBLY BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE STAFF FOR DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES, REHABILITATION
The Assembly Budget Committee announced yesterday (January 20th) several key staffing changes for the upcoming budget subcommittee hearings , with Jazmin Hicks, formerly staffer with Assemblymember Shirley Weber (Democrat – San Diego), who is the  new chair of the Assembly Budget Commmittee, will be the new lead staffer for several department budgets, including Department of Developmental Services and Department of Rehabiliation under Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, and also under Assembly Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration.
Lead staff are critical part of the legislative budget process.  Under chair’s direction, the staff person puts together the budget subcommittee agenda, listing out what items will be heard with public comment taken and writes the analysis of each budget proposal or issue for the subcommittee members.  That staff person also is the lead person on those same budget issues later when the budget process moves into the Budget Conference Commiteee phase in early June, and for final action on the floor.
A tentative budget subcommittee hearing schedule is likely to be released sometime in the next few weeks, with the first initial subcommittee hearings likely beginning in early March and ending in late May.
Members of Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services: Tony Thurmond (Chair), Rob Bonta, David Chiu, Shannon L. Grove, and Brian W. Jones
Members of Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 on Education Finance: Kevin McCarty (Chair), Rocky Chávez, Young Kim, Patrick O’Donnell, and Philip Ting.
Here are the new Assembly Budget Committee staff assignments by subject area:

AGING, DEPARTMENT OF
LEAD STAFF (NO CHANGE): Nicole Vasquez

DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF (REGIONAL CENTERS AND DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS)
NEW LEAD STAFF: Jazmin Hicks
PREVIOUS LEAD STAFF: Nicole Vasquez

EDUCATION – K-12 (INCLUDING SPECIAL EDUCATION)
NEW LEAD STAFF (FOR 2015 – TEMPORARY): Nicole Vasquez
PREVIOUS LEAD STAFF: Katie Hardeman (Vasquez will cover her position when she Hardenman goes out on maternity leave)

HEALTH (INCLUDING MEDI-CAL)
LEAD STAFF (NO CHANGE):  Andrea Margolis

REHABILITATION, DEPARTMENT OF
NEW LEAD STAFF: Jazmin Hicks
PREVIOUS LEAD STAFF: Nicole Vasquez

SOCIAL SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF (INCLUDES IHSS, CALWORKS, SSI/SSP, FOSTER CARE, ADOPTION, COMMUNITY CARE LICENSING)
LEAD STAFF (NO CHANGE): Nicole Vasquez

COMMUNITY SERVICES AND DEVELOPMENT, DEPARTMENT OF
NEW LEAD STAFF:  Jazmin Hicks
PREVIOUS LEAD STAFF:  Nicole Vasquez

CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF
NEW LEAD STAFF:  Jazmin Hicks
PREVIOUS LEAD STAFF:  Nicole Vasquez

CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY INCLUDING OFFICE OF SYSTEMS INTEGRATION
NEW LEAD STAFF (FOR 2015 – TEMPORARY): Christian Griffith

SENATE RULES COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS SENATE CONFIRMATION OF JOE XAVIER DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION DIRECTOR
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (Democrat – Los Angeles), confirmed today (January 21st) by vote of 5 to 0, Joe Xavier as Director of the Department of Rehabilitation.  Xavier’s confirmation now heads to the Senate floor for an expected easy final confirmation vote by the full State Senate within the next couple of weeks.  His confirmation was supported by several advocacy groups and organizations who submitted letters, with several representatives and individuals appearing at the hearing to indicate their strong support to the committee.
Xavier, 55 years of Elk Grove, was a former recipient of services provided through the department, and was appointed department director February 14, 2014 last year by Governor Brown to replace Tony Sauer, who retired from state service.  Governor’s appointees to these types of positions can serve up to a year without confirmation from the State Senate.
Xavier’s confirmation by the Senate Rules Committee comes just a few days before California’s “Ed Roberts Day” on January 23rd, celebrating the life and work of a disability rights advocate who is revered across the nation as the “father of the independent living movement” for people with disabilities.  Roberts also was the first person with a disability to serve as Director of the Department of Rehabilitation, appointed to that position by Governor Brown during his first term as governor, in 1975.  Roberts served in that position as department director through 1983, during the entire time of Brown’s first two terms as governor.  He died on March 14, 1995 at age 56. Senator Loni Hancock (Democrat – Berkeley) authored legislation in 2010 that was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger declaring the date of his birthday, January 23rd , each year as “Ed Roberts Day”. [CDCAN will issue special report on Ed Roberts on Friday, January 23rd]
Prior to his appointment, Xavier served in different positions within the Department of Rehabilitation since 1998, serving as the Deputy Director of Specialized Services Division within the Department of Rehabilitation just prior to his appointment as director.  In that capacity, Xavier was responsible for Blind Field Services, the Orientation Center for the Blind, the Older Individuals who are Blind Program, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Section, and the Business Enterprises Program.  He also headed the Independent Living and External Affairs Division within the department.
Xavier served as project director of an on-going $50 million federally funded project focused on selected families with children ages 14 to 16 years old who are SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipients, with a goal to see if additional resources, information and outreach targeted to those individuals can help to reduce the need for public benefits when they are older.
Xavier also, prior to his appointment as director, headed the transition of the Traumatic Brain Injury program from the now defunct Department of Mental Health to the Department of Rehabilitation. That program however in recent weeks is facing major challenges, with an announcement January 16th that a proposed Medicaid waiver for the program would not go forward because, in consultation with the Department of Health Care Servies, the proposed waiver would not satisfy federal requirements of cost neutrality due to insufficient numbers of Californians with Traumtic Brain Injuries who need nursing facility level-of-care services at our current program sites. [See separate CDCAN Report on this announcement.]
Prior to his work with the Department of Rehabilitation, Xavier was owner and operator at Snack N Things from 1996 to 1998, at Skyline Food Services from 1986 to 1996 and at the Gold Star Café from 1984 to 1986.  He is a member of the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities and the California Council of the Blind.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH FINES MACLAY HEALTHCARE CENTER SKILLED NURSING FACILITY IN LOS ANGELES FOR DEATH OF RESIDENT
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The Department of Public Health announced January 20th that Maclay Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Los Angeles County owned by Lifehouse Health Services, LLC, has received a Class “AA” citation, the most severe penalty under State law, and a $75,000 fine from the State.  The announcement was made by Dr. Ron Chapman, director and State health officer of the Department of Public Health.
A Department of Public Health investigation found deficiencies in the death of a resident. (see below for link for actual report)
All of the 1,200 nursing facilities in California are required to be in compliance with State and federal laws and regulations governing health care facilities, to ensure quality of care.
The Department of Public Health has authority under State law to impose fines against nursing facilities it licenses as part of enforcement. State citations that require a civil monetary penalty are categorized as Class B, A or AA. The related fines tied to those citations range from $100 to $2,000 for Class B, $2,000 to $20,000 for Class A and $25,000 to $100,000 for Class AA. The citation class and amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the substantiated violation, as authorized under State law.
PDF Image copy of the 12 page report of the investigation can be viewed or downloaded from the department webpage at:    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Documents/2567MaclayHealthcareCenter_LACounty.pdf
Department of Public Health’s Health Facility Information webpage, containing links to citations, licensing information and All Facility Letters:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Pages/default.aspx

STATE WORKGROUP ON PREVENTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG DEATHS
SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN] – The Department of Public Health announced December 30th an steps by state agencies to combione resources to prevent deaths and injuries from prescription painkiller drug misuse and overdoses by alerting health care providers, pharmacists and the public to this epidemic.
The “Prescription Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Workgroup” was formed last spring to expand prevention strategies to decrease the amount of misuse, overdose and death from prescription pain medications, according to the Department of Public Health.
In the US, drug overdoses kill more people than motor vehicle crashes.
In 2012, there were more than 41,000 deaths in this country related to drug overdoses – with more than 50% related to pharmaceuticals. Opioid analgesics, like oxycodone, methadone or hydrocodone, were involved in about 3 of every 4 pharmaceutical overdose deaths. The cost of health care related to abuse of opioid pain relievers is estimated at more than $70 billion. In California, reported deaths involving opioid prescription medications have increased 16.5% since 2006. In 2012, there were more than 1,800 deaths from all types of opioids – 72% involved prescription opioids.
According to the Department of Public Health, the number of people being treated for prescription opioid abuse in publicly funded or monitored programs in California has nearly doubled since 2007. These medications are often obtained legally, but then taken incorrectly or used by people they are not prescribed for, such as a friend or relative.
The workgroup includes the Department of Public Health which chairs the workgroup and the departments of Health Care Services, Justice, Education and Consumer Affairs, California State Board of Pharmacy, Medical Board of California (MBC), Dental Board of California, and Emergency Medical Services Authority.
One of the workgroup’s goals is to provide information about the California Medical Board’s recently revised guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for pain.
“We want to provide tools that will lead to better discussions between providers, pharmacists and their patients,” added Kimberly Kirchmeyer, executive director of the Medical Board of California. “The Board’s new guidelines will assist in this endeavor.”
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared prescription drug abuse a nationwide epidemic. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officers issued its President’s Challenge 2014, with the goal of bringing together state health officials and their partners to identify ways to reduce the toll associated with prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose.
Department of Public Health’s Prescription Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Workgroup Webpage:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/OpioidMisuseWorkgroup.aspx
Department of Public Health All Facilities: Preventing Opiate Overdose Death With Naloxone (August 2014) – PDF Document Copy (1 Page):
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Documents/LNC-AFL-14-19.pdf
Medical Board of California’s Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain (November 2014)  – PDF Document Copy (90 Pages):
http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Licensees/Prescribing/Pain_Guidelines.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet (last updated January 2015): http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/overdose/facts.html
Pharmacy Board Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Webpage:
http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/consumers/rx_abuse_prevention.shtml

CDCAN – MARTY OMOTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL
A CDCAN (Marty Omoto) youtube channel was set up and has several videos dealing with current – and previous state budget issues, disability and senior rights, and advocacy.
To see the current videos, including March 2014 San Andreas Regional Center Aptos Legislative Breakfast, January 2014 panel discussion on services for adults with autism spectrum and related disorders in Palo Alto, and older videos including video of April 2003 march of over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, families, providers, regional centers and others from the Sacramento Convention Center to the State Capitol (to attend and testify at budget hearing on proposed massive permanent cuts to regional center funded services, go to the CDCAN (Marty Omoto) Channel at:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEySEyhnr9LQRiCe-F7ELhg
More videos – including new current videos (an interview with longtime advocate Maggie Dee Dowling is planned, among others) – plus archive videos of past events – will be posted soon.

ALERT: PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
JANUARY 21, 2015 – LATE WEDNESDAY EVENING
PLEASE HELP CDCAN CONTINUE ITS WORK      
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