On Friday the California Departments of Social Services and Health Care Services jointly issued an All County Information Notice (ACIN) regarding planning around the newly available services called Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) and Intensive Home Based Services (IHBS). (See Katie A. v. Bonta.) Today’s blog takes a closer look at the policy letter and its attachments.
In a nutshell, the ACIN describes a process by which the state will be guiding, supporting and evaluating the roll-out of ICC and IHBS services statewide, as well as progress towards implementing a core practice model that integrates child welfare and mental health practice for all children who are served by multiple agencies.
The process includes a self-assessment by the counties and the preparation of a Service Delivery Plan. Both the assessment and the Plan “should be completely jointly” by county child welfare and the Mental Health Plan, along with stakeholders. According to the Departments, the Service Delivery Plan “is intended to provide a roadmap to delivering Intensive Care Coordination and Intensive Home Based Services consistent with the Core Practice Model . . .” The Plan must include “specific methodology and timeframes to meet the need of class/subclass members . . .”
The deadline for completing county’s Plan is May 15, 2013. By then, each county must report on:
- Needs Assessment
- Direct Delivery of Services
- Gap Analysis
- Services Capacity Assessment (Existing capacity, short term expansion capacity, unmet long term capacity)
- Stakeholder Involvement (Counties may use existing methods used for Mental Health Service Act)
The self-assessment and plan development should include stakeholders, including families and youth, plus providers and advocates. You may want to contact your county child welfare office or Mental Health Plan to express your interest in hearing more about, or participating in, this process.
The ACIN is not crystal clear in stating that youth who are eligible for services have an immediate right to receive them. All of the necessary elements are in place:
The services are Medi-Cal covered services. (See July 7, 2012, Minute Order, Docket No. 815, Katie A v. Bonta, Case 2:02-cv-05662-AHM-SHx.)
There is a Medi-Cal manual that describes what services may be provided to which youth by whom. (See Medi-Cal Manual. )
There are billing codes to use to seek reimbursement. (See Medi-Cal Manual.)
There is funding in this Fiscal Year’s EPSDT allocation to cover the non-federal share of costs. (See ACIN 2012-08.)
Because Medi-Cal covered services are an entitlement, young people that have a present need for ICC and IHBS must be provided services with reasonable promptness.
If you know of an eligible child that would benefit from these services, you should contact your County Mental Health Plan for further information. A list of contact numbers and e-mail addresses can be found here.