Saturday, April 6, 2013
State Fails to Ensure Access to Behavioral Health Services for Autistic Children Transitioning from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal
SACRAMENTO, CA – An unknown number of autistic children transitioning from
Healthy Families to Medi-Cal were informed that they will no longer be able to access
critical behavioral health services once enrolled into a Medi-Cal health plan. Families
who called the state’s help lines have been unable to get definitive answers about how
to resolve the problem and access these services.
Children’s advocates are frustrated by the state’s lack of planning and attention to this
issue, despite the fact that this specific concern about loss of services for autistic
children has been raised many times over the past several months. Advocates, relieved
that the state has now begun to address these problems, call upon the Administration to
work quickly to identify and closely manage affected children in order to maintain
services and assure continuity of care.
The transition of 875,000 children from the Healthy Families Program to Medi-Cal
began in January, and 264,000 children moved in the most recent phase on April 1st.
Children’s health advocates have continuously voiced concerns that this transition is
occurring too hastily, which could lead to gaps in coverage and health care for children.
“Loss of services, difficulty for families in getting answers – these are exactly the kinds
of problems we’ve been worried about all along with the state’s rushed transition,” said
Kelly Hardy, Director of Health Policy at Children Now. “Now kids are paying the price.
The state needs to clean up this mess and reinstate services right away.”
See press release HERE.