The California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC) is a statewide network of California’s neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and High Risk Infant Follow-up (HRIF) clinics founded by the California Association of Neonatologists as its quality action arm. Through quality improvement collaboratives, QI toolkits, and a robust statewide database, CPQCC aims to improve the quality and equity of health care delivery for California’s most vulnerable infants and their families, from birth and NICU stay to early childhood.
The Children’s Specialty Care Coalition (CSCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) association representing over 2,500 pediatric specialists in California.
The California Association of Neonatologists (CAN) has been a valued member of the Coalition since its inception in 2001. In addition to CAN, CSCC represents 18 pediatric specialty medical groups, which are affiliated with most of California’s children’s hospitals, and other regional tertiary care centers throughout the state.
CSCC is dedicated to ensuring that children and youth with complex health care needs have access to equitable, timely, and high-quality care, provided by pediatric subspecialists who are able to thrive in California’s health care environment, through strong leadership, education and advocacy.
CSCC has made a profound impact on children’s access, and the quality of pediatric specialty care in California. Some of the most notable achievements include securing and maintaining a thirty-nine percent enhanced reimbursement rate for California Children’s Services (CCS) paneled physicians, and sponsoring legislation to extend the CCS carve-out of specialty care from managed care from 1999-2017. CSCC was also a key stakeholder on SB 586 (Hernandez, 2016), which provided important safeguards for providers and families as it relates to the Department of Health Care Services’ implementation of the Whole-Child Model (WCM). This included continuity of care provisions, CCS minimum rate floor for providers, and a mandated evaluation of the WCM to be submitted to the legislature before further counties can be carved in.
Additionally, the Coalition supports legislation and state budget proposals that improve and protect children’s health. CSCC has successfully advocated for using Proposition 56 tobacco tax dollars to boost evaluation and management (E/M), and preventative care code rates close to Medicare levels, as well as ensuring that pediatric subspecialists are eligible for the loan repayment program for providers who commit to serving at least 30 percent Medi-Cal patients, and meet other requirements.
Telehealth is another foremost priority for CSCC, and it played a leadership role in the expansion of Medi-Cal telehealth policy in 2019. The Coalition recently effectively advocated for the extension of telehealth flexibilities put in place during the Public Health Emergency, including payment parity for audio-only visits. The extension of these flexibilities is through December 31, 2022, while a stakeholder process is conducted in the interim to determine Medi-Cal policy beyond that date.
CSCC also works closely with CAN to advocate before the state legislature and administration on issues specifically affecting neonates and the providers who treat them. Together, CAN and CSCC have provided substantive feedback to strengthen Numbered Letters for regional, intermediate, and community level NICUs. CAN also served as a trusted advisor to the Department on Z to CPT code conversion for NICU/PICU to ensure close approximation to revenue neutrality, which took effect June 1, 2019.
CSCC, through the invaluable input and expertise of our physician members, will continue to advocate on behalf of children and youth with complex health care needs, including our youngest patients receiving care in the NICU.