Around Chico

 

 

Lots of outreach being done in our communities. If you wish a presentation of DAC programs and services please let us know. DAC counties include Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama. Chico Office (530) 893-8527 and Redding Office (530) 242-8550. Thanks!

MEDI-CAL DENTAL BENEFITS RESTORED

Medi-Cal Dental Benefits for Adults

On April 29, California Department of Health Care Services received Medicare approval to restore certain optional adult dental benefits for members 21 years of age and older under the Medi-Cal program, effective May 1.  The partial restoration of dental services includes examinations and x-rays, dental cleanings with fluoride treatments, silver and tooth-colored fillings, and root canals and crowns on front teeth.  Complete dentures are also being restored.

For a complete list of services being restored, please see Provider Bulletin Volume 29, Number 14 (August 2013).  Dental providers will determine which medically necessary services will be provided, and the existing benefits for children will not change.  When the elimination of the optional Medi-Cal dental benefit for adults began in July 2009, due to the state’s severe budget issues, there were several exemptions that allowed some members to continue receiving services.  They included members who were residents of nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, pregnant women, and some others.

This partial restoration of the benefit is not a component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Most of the costs are for individuals who are already eligible for Medi-Cal.  Any ACA funding would be used for services to those who qualify for Medi-Cal only because of the ACA’s expanded eligibility.

If a member needs help finding a dentist, please see the Provider Referral Tool on the Denti-Cal website or call Denti-Cal at 1-800-322-6384.

Number of Poor Seniors would increase under Ryan budget

 

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In a April 23, 2014 Huffington Post blog, NSCLC Executive Director Kevin Prindiville writes that the House-passed budget resolution “leaves the country’s older adults to struggle with less food, income housing, and care.”

“By cutting essential programs that often make life manageable for those with limited income and resources, the Ryan budget will lead to poverty numbers among seniors the nation hasn’t seen since the Depression.”

Please feel free to shae the blog widely. You can also find the blog on the NSCLC website.

What does it mean to…

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One may be aware that it is good to reduce, recycle, repair, reassign and reuse materials and equipment to avoid filling up our solid waste landfills and lessen the impact of these items on the environment and natural resources, but the greatest process to sustainable living is to rethink.  Before throwing something away, think again and ask yourself if it is able to be recycled or repaired or revitalized into an item that could be of reuse to someone else?  Recent statistics indicate that 80% of the durable medical equipment that ends up in land fills could have been recycled and reused by other community members.  Please make rethinking and recycling part of your lifestyle, and increase the quality of life for other community members by taking the time to rethink.

MEDI-CAL DENTAL COVERAGE PARTIALLY RESTORED

Legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) have  agreed on a budget plan that restores partial funding for dental services in Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program.

Oral HealthNorthern California legislators and dental providers have been at the forefront of a campaign over the past four years to get dental coverage for Medi-Cal adults restored. For many advocates and stakeholders, this week’s budget news was considered a partial victory. Although not the complete restoration of $131 million sought, the state plans to spend about $16.9 million this fiscal year and $77 million next year on dental coverage. The money will provide preventive care, dental restorations and full dentures for adult beneficiaries of Medi-Cal.

denticalRestoring adult coverage in Denti-Cal was considered a priority for California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

“Dental care is so essential to physical health and employability,” Steinberg said. “The current alternatives are gum disease and use of hospital emergency rooms at the expense of taxpayers, which is unacceptable.”

Lindsey Robinson, a pediatric dentist in Grass Valley and president of the California Dental Association, called the agreement “a significant achievement in the effort to restore all adult Denti-Cal services and a step in the right direction to address the oral health care crisis facing millions of Californians.”

by Mari Edlin, California Healthline Regional Correspondent

Read the rest of the article at http://www.californiahealthline.org/features/2013/medical-dental-coverage-partially-restored.aspx#ixzz2Wt8niGJz

IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES (IHSS) SUIT SETTLED

NOTICE REGARDING IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES (IHSS)

In 2009, the State of California tried to cut IHSS domestic and related hours and to cut funds for IHSS workers who make more than $9.50 an hour. In 2011, the State tried to cut IHSS hours by 20%.

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In response, IHSS recipients and labor unions filed lawsuits. They won temporary orders stopping the cuts. The State appealed the lawsuits. No one knows if the courts would allow the cuts or not. Now there is a settlement. If the court approves the settlement:

• There will be no 20% cut in IHSS hours. There will be a one-year cut of 8% starting around July 1, 2013. This is 4.4% below current hours because there is already a cut of 3.6% that is not part of these lawsuits. (3.6% + 4.4% = 8%).

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• Around July 2014, the cut in IHSS hours will go down to 7%. (3.4% on top of the 3.6% current cut).

• There will be no cuts in State funding for IHSS wages.

• You CAN ask the county for extra hours if your circumstances change.

 

TO GET MORE DETAILS OR FILE AN OBJECTION WITH THE COURT:

You can get a copy of the class notice and the settlement agreement from your county welfare office, public authority or online at: DOWNLOAD IHSS SETTLEMENT CLASS NOTICE

Also, you can get details at these websites: www.disabilityrightsca.org, www.altshulerberzon.com, www.dss.cahwnet.gov, and www.dhcs.ca.gov.
banner-ihssYou can also leave a message for the lawyers representing IHSS recipients at 1-866-752-6679.

THE DEADLINE TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT IS MAY 3, 2013.

You don’t have to do anything if you do not object to the settlement.

DISABILITY TOPS WORLD HEALTH TRENDS

EARLY DEATH REPLACED BY DISABILITY AS MOST SIGNIFICANT HEALTH RISK

“The health of most of the planet’s population is rapidly coming to resemble that of the United States, where death in childhood is rare, too much food is a bigger problem than too little, and life is long and often darkened by disability.

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“High blood pressure is now the leading ‘risk factor’ for disease around the world.  Alcohol use is third.  Low-back pain now causes more disability than childbirth complications or anemia.

“We are in transition to a world where disability is the dominant concern as opposed to premature death, said Christopher Murray, who headed the Global Burden of Disease Study, published on [December 13, 2012].

“The pace of change is such that we are ill prepared to deal with what the burden of disease is now in most places.

“The risk of dying prematurely from many ‘adult diseases’ (such as heart attacks and cancer) has also fallen because of better treatment and prevention.  As a result, the average age of the world’s population is getting older.  Soon after 2015, for the first time in history, there will be more people older than 65 than younger than 5.  That has had two consequences.

“More people are surviving to die of diseases that occur only in old age. . . . At the same time, people are living with conditions that don’t kill them, but that do affect their health.

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” . . . the study should prompt us to think hard about what are the major causes of disability today, and what are the possible solutions that can accelerate progress against them.”


The independent living movement will be challenged to modify our advocacy to account for these changes.  During the first half of the 20th Century, polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases.  A handful of polio survivors were among the first leaders of our movement.  As polio and other infectious diseases are reduced or eliminated, new mostly chronic diseases occupy our attention and healthcare resources.  Going forward, we will be required to expand our scope of practice to include advocacy for the full range of disabled citizens.  In order to maintain our effectiveness, it seems to be incumbent upon us that we play a partnership role in reducing the incidence and severity of these mostly preventable diseases.  


The full newspaper account can be read at:
  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121217/entlife/712179975


To access the summaries or full studies from The Lancet, go to:
http://www.thelancet.com/themed/global-burden-of-disease

PRESSURE ARISES TO UN-DO MEDI-CAL CUTBACKS

RESTORE HEALTH FUNDS, ADVOCATES URGE LEADERS

A free dental clinic offered this summer at the Cal Expo grounds in Sacramento may serve as the perfect illustration of how great is the need for restoring many, if not all, of the medical and dental services which have been cut from the Medi-Cal program over the last several years of deep budget deficits and its attendant cuts.

“Three years ago, the state eliminated most adult dental services to help balance the budget.

“As California recovers from a deep recession and expects several billion dollars worth of new voter-approved taxes, Democrats and low-income advocates are clamoring to restore health and social service programs such as adult Denti-Cal.

“Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, specifically mentions the dental program as a priority and sees ‘pent-up demand’ to undo the most severe budget cuts, though he isn’t sure if that can happen immediately.”

Readers may recall that inability to access even basic dental care through a managed care program in Sacramento County reached scandalous levels earlier this year and cast serious doubts about the value of the managed care model in all areas of healthcare.  With the state Department of Health Care Services poised to launch managed care model health care reform throughout California’s 58 counties by 2014, it should be clear by now that such reform will absolutely depend on having a revenue stream that is reliable and sufficiently robust to reimburse providers at an adequate level, as well as having strong protections for  patients against systemic abuses.

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Although the new revenue has nearly closed the budget gap, an estimated $1.9 Billion deficit is predicted for 2013, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).  Governor Jerry Brown has signaled that he may be less willing to restore the requested lost funding until the economy exhibits a more robust recovery

The full story can be read at:  http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/12/5048228/californias-recovery-raises-hopes.html