DHCS Stakeholder Update - December 16, 2022

Top News

Public Charge Final Rule Effective December 23, 2022

Next Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's updated public charge ground of inadmissibility rule that governs public charge determinations and the use of public benefits will be implemented. The final rule restores previous policies — including the exclusion of Medicaid when determining the use of public benefits, with the exception of long-term institutionalized care. In September, an updated Public Charge Guide was posted (in 22 languages) on the California Health and Human Services Agency website to serve as a resource for individuals and families with questions about the current federal public charge policy.

One can also visit the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services website for updated information and resources. For general questions about the final rule and public charge, a list of nonprofit organizations qualified to assist individuals is available on the California Department of Social Services website.

Program Updates

DHCS Awards Funding to CalAIM Providing Access and Transforming Health (PATH) Collaborative Planning and Implementation Facilitators

On December 13, DHCS awarded PATH Collaborative Planning and Implementation funding to 10 organizations. Awardees will serve as facilitators for county/regional collaboratives, working to support the implementation of Enhanced Care Management and Community Supports. For facilitator information, participant registration, and more on this initiative, please visit the PATH Collaborative Planning and Implementation website.

Medi-Cal Rx

On December 20, the following notifications for Medi-Cal Rx reinstatement will be released: the 30-day notice for Phase 2, Wave 1 (reinstatement of prior authorization (PA) requirements for 39 standard therapeutic classes); the updated Medi-Cal approved National Drug Code list identifying those drugs impacted by the Phase 2, Wave 1 PA reinstatement; the Phase 2 Frequently Asked Questions; and the 90-day notification for Phase 3 (beginning the series of Transition Policy lifts). More information about the reinstatement plan is available on the Medi-Cal Rx reinstatement webpage.

Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Program (HACCP) Eligibility Expansion

Beginning January 1, newly eligible young adults ages 18 to 20 will be able to apply for HACCP enrollment if they meet other program criteria and need coverage for their hearing aid(s) and related services. Also, effective January 1, applicants under age 21 who meet program eligibility requirements may apply to enroll in HACCP even if they have partial other health coverage for hearing aids subject to a coverage limit of $1,500 or less per year. Additional program information is available on the HACCP webpage. Families can apply to enroll for coverage through HACCP's Online Application Portal.

Smile, California Campaign for Medi-Cal Dental Services

A new pregnancy landing page was published to SmileCalifornia.org, and will be shared directly with perinatal service coordinators in each California county as part of the 2022 Comprehensive Perinatal Service Program (CPSP) expansion project. The primary goal of the 2022 expansion is to spread awareness about Smile, California with CPSP providers.

Also, during the week of December 19, a Smile, California, Smile Alert will be sent to subscribers. It will feature the second video of the provider testimonial series and seven new posts in the Social Media Gallery on SmileCalifornia.org in English and Spanish. The posts are for download and the resources to share on social media. Sign up for Smile Alerts

Join Our Team

DHCS is hiring! We are searching for a mission-driven, motivated individual to serve as Policy Advisor for Homelessness and Housing within the Health Care Delivery System program. The Policy Advisor leads and coordinates the planning, development, and implementation of new homelessness and housing-related Medi-Cal policies across DHCS programs.

DHCS is also hiring Californians to join our fiscal, human resources, legal, auditing, health policy, and information technology teams. For more information, please visit the CalCareers website.

DHCS is dedicated to preserving and improving the overall health and well-being of all Californians. DHCS' mission is to provide the most vulnerable residents with access to affordable, integrated, high-quality, and equitable health care, and is currently transforming the Medi-Cal program to make sure it provides the care Californians need to live healthier, happier lives.

Upcoming Stakeholder Meetings and Webinars

Nursing Facility Financing Reform Webinar – Registration Now Open

On December 21, from 3 to 4 p.m., DHCS will host a virtual stakeholder meeting (advance registration required) discussing the Workforce and Quality Incentive Program (WQIP) authorized by Assembly Bill 186 (Chapter 46, Statutes of 2022). This meeting will present final program design of the WQIP and provide further opportunity for feedback. The agenda and additional information will be posted on the Nursing Facility Financing Reform AB 186 webpage closer to the meeting date.

CalAIM Incentive Payment Program (IPP) Webinar

On December 22, from 12 to 1 p.m., DHCS will host a webinar on the CalAIM IPP (advance registration required). It will provide updates on the IPP program, including modifications to the program timeline and a detailed preview of the measure sets for 2023-24. If time allows, there will be an opportunity for stakeholder questions at the end of the webinar.

In Case You Missed It

Sanctions for Managed Care Plans' (MCPs) Quality Ratings Released

On December 13, DHCS issued a news release stating the Department's commitment to holding Medi-Cal MCPs accountable for improving health outcomes for their members. As part of a pledge to increase transparency, DHCS publicly issued quality measure ratings for all MCPs, requiring their immediate and concrete action to improve their quality ratings. DHCS also published a fact sheet that compares Medi-Cal MCPs in key health care measures for children's and women's health care and chronic diseases.

DHCS to Invest Millions to Tackle Youth Opioid Use

On December 14, DHCS issued a news release announcing the availability of $12 million in grants to nonprofits, for-profit businesses, schools, Tribal authorities, and state or local government agencies tackling opioid use among young people. Organizations can apply for grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services for youth (ages 12-24) with, or at risk of, opioid use disorder or stimulant use disorder.

Application Deadline for Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) COVID-19 Worker Retention Payments (WRP)

DHCS is reminding all successfully registered Covered Entities (CEs), Covered Services Employers (CSEs), Physician Group Entities (PGEs), and Independent Physicians to submit their applications for the Hospital and SNF WRP. All requests for payment must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on December 30. DHCS encourages early submissions so all applications can be validated shortly after the application submission deadline. If you are a CE, CSE, PGE, or an Independent Physician and you have not yet registered, please visit the WRP webpage to register by December 21.

For registration and application guidance, an application video tutorial, and all other supporting information, please visit the WRP webpage.

Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) Pilot Testing for Online System

On December 1, DHCS began a pilot project to allow general acute care hospitals (GACHs) to test PASRR's online system. The initial pilot group consists of six GACHs, and testing will be facilitated from December 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023. The remaining GACHs will be enrolled by region from February through April 2023.

PASRR is a federal- and state-mandated program designed to identify evidence of a serious mental illness, intellectual and/or developmental disability, or related condition in all individuals (regardless of insurance type) who are seeking admission to a skilled nursing facility (SNF). To comply with federal regulations, the PASRR process must be completed prior to a beneficiary being admitted to a SNF.

DHCS is required to be fully compliant with California's PASRR process by July 1, 2023. To achieve this, all GACHs will be enrolled in PASRR's online system and must incorporate the PASRR screening protocol in their discharge process. The online system will streamline their efforts to complete the PASRR process before discharging a member to a Medicaid-certified SNF. For more information, visit the PASRR webpage.

Published COVID-19 Information

Last modified date: 1/30/2023 3:30 PM