The California Legislature authorized the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to establish the Whole-Child Model program. This program will incorporate California Children’s Services (CCS) program covered services into Medi-Cal managed care plans. It means that all CCS and non-CCS services will be authorized or provided by the Medi-Cal managed care plan. Whole-Child Model program will be implemented in 21 counties, no sooner than July 1, 2018.1
How Will Medi-Cal/Medicaid Cuts Hurt Special Education?
Today, schools in California use $180 million in Medi-Cal/Medicaid to pay for services to students, especially students with disabilities. More than $90 million of this money comes from the federal government. Recent proposals in Congress would cut or cap these federal Medicaid funds.
Schools often use Medi-Cal funds to pay for the services in a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). For children who qualify, Medi-Cal helps fund special education services such as:
As the school nurse to student ratio in California is currently up to 1 nurse per 2500 students, many schools have become increasingly hesitant to administer prescribed medication to students when a school nurse is not on campus. Unfortunately, in many cases a refusal to administer medication when needed can put the student in danger.
Regardless of whether a school nurse is on campus, schools are required to administer medication when needed by a student. The legal requirements regarding medication are discussed below.