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First 5 Center and Pediatrics Support Parents Project Hosts Webinar Series on Medi-Cal

This blog summarizes the three webinars focused on Medi-Cal, managed care, and the important roles these systems play for young children that First 5 in collaboration with the Pediatrics Supporting Parents Project (PSP), led by Manatt Health, Donna Cohen Ross, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy hosted.

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The history of public health programming for Black infants and families in California and the birth disparities that persist

In California, Black women are roughly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women in all other racial/ethnic groups. California’s Black infants are almost three times more likely to die than white infants, regardless of the mother’s education and income. Indeed, a Black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.

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A Free Screening Tool Left Out of Medi-Cal Developmental Screening Policy

California has recently made several policy changes to increase the low rate of infants and toddlers receiving screenings to detect developmental delays. Starting in 2020, a new policy allows Medi-Cal providers to receive an incentive payment for screening infants and toddlers using a standardized screening tool that meets Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and AAP criteria, but it leaves out a newly recommended free developmental screening tool that offers distinct advantages.

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California Has an Opportunity to Improve how Medi-Cal Serves Young Children

The First 5 Association of California submitted a response to the Department of Health Care Services on its procurement process for managed care plans to serve the Medi-Cal population with recommendations designed to improve health outcomes for children and provide care with a whole-child, whole-family approach. The following provides an overview of the Association's response.

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Seeking Diagnosis and Services for Autism: One Family, Two Different Journeys

When a child shows signs of a developmental concern, getting connected to supports early is key. Leticia DeGracia, a Sacramento mother of four young children, knew this was true and took swift action when two of her children, Jaqueline and Brandon, showed symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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A Family's Struggle Navigating the Early Identification and Intervention System

Brianna’s story is one of many that shows how difficult California’s early identification and intervention (EII) system can be for families to navigate. Without outside support systems, it is easy for families to get lost, frustrated, and disillusioned.

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New Program Extends Medi-Cal Coverage to Individuals Diagnosed With a Maternal Mental Health Condition

Effective August 1st, individuals receiving Medi-Cal who have been diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition, including postpartum depression (PPD), may qualify for an extension of coverage for up to a year.

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With Disruption of Supports, Families of Children with Developmental Concerns Under Stress

For a child with a developmental delay or disability, timely and accessible intervention services can be critical to that child’s wellbeing, as well as that of her parents or caregivers. COVID-19 has disrupted services for many families, compounding the stress related to changes to employment, child care, and overall routines. As a result, rates of stress, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic are significantly higher in households where a young child has a disability.

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Home Visiting Programs and their Vital Role for Immigrant Families

With a presidential administration that has kept immigrant families living in a constant state of fear due to one of the most aggressive agendas on immigration in modern times, and a virus that’s disproportionately affecting communities of color, home visitors can play a more vital role in immigrant families’ lives than ever before.

Blog Post

Orange County Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit Provides Model for Other Counties

While many women experience some mild mood changes after the birth of a child, commonly known as the “baby blues,” in California 1 in 6 women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Orange County’s perinatal mental health toolkit is intended to provide educational, screening, treatment, and referral resources, the toolkit helps providers identify at-risk parents who may benefit from preventive services such as mentorship, classes, home visiting, and support groups.

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