All posts by familyvoicesco

Family Voices Colorado believes that parents of children with special health care needs should not be alone when they face the scary and confusing task of securing care for their children. Every day we give parents the information and strength they need to navigate complex health care systems in order to get things like wheelchairs, oxygen, or surgery for their children. With our help, parents are able to be the heroes their children are counting on.

Health Care Law Updates

If you’ve been listening to the federal budget discussion and the “sequestration” that is now in effect, applying spending cuts across the board, you may be wondering what that means for health care. The good news is that certain important programs, like Medicaid, Social Security, and SNAP (food stamps) are exempt from the cuts. The not-so-good news is that Medicare provider payments will be cut 2% on an annualized basis. Of course, this could all change if Congress can agree on a way forward for federal deficit reduction.

Federal grant funds, like the Family-to-Family Health Information Center Grant that supports some of our work at Family Voices Colorado, will see some cuts, but we are still waiting to find out exactly how those will be applied. At this point we are not planning to reduce staffing or services, but please contact us if you have any questions.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as health care reform, Obamacare, or ACA, will be rolled out fully as of January 1, 2014. The law is wide-reaching in its implications for health insurance companies and for individual and family consumers. Here are a few resources that might be helpful as you or people you know are trying to understand the big picture more fully:

HealthCare.Gov: Learn about health insurance basics, sign up for email or text message updates, read about the coming Health Insurance Marketplaces, and find out how the new federal law might affect you. http://www.healthcare.gov/

Connect for Health Colorado: Formerly called the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, this is our state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Information and resources are available now, but the insurance plan research and application functions will go live this fall. http://www.getcoveredco.org/

The Health Care Law 101.  National Family Voices is offering a presentation on the main provisions in the Affordable Care Act and how to access care in your community in English on March 7 at 1pm EST/11am MST, and in Spanish on March 19 at 3pm EDT/1pm MDT. (Note that we switch to Daylight Savings Time this weekend, March 10, 2013.)

Frequently Asked Questions about ACA Implementation.  CMS has posted a set of frequently asked questions about Medicaid and CHIP (State Child Health Insurance Program – CHP+ in Colorado) issues related to the ACA, including changes in Medicaid eligibility (under the “Eligibility Policy” category.)

Only one week left until Hearts on Fire!

Dancers in front of flaming heartHearts on Fire is just one week from tomorrow, on Saturday, March 2, at 7pm. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, sign up today – you won’t want to miss the food, drinks, music, silent auction, or especially the dancing!

Here’s an excerpt from our press release:

“This is the kind of event that’s really fun to come to,” explains Tom Rose, Executive Director. “We’ll have terrific food catered by local Mexican restaurant Diego’s, live music from the  Manuel Molina trio, open bar, salsa dance lessons and a dance contest, in addition to our silent auction and plenty of time for mingling. We’re creating the feel of a Mexican cantina, really festive. Personally, I’m really looking forward to it. I’m just a little nervous that my wife will want me to take a turn on the dance floor!”

Read the full press release:

Press Release – Hearts on Fire Event, Family Voices Colorado.

Buy tickets online here – just $50 each or $90 per couple.

Resources for Health Care Providers

HIPAA Privacy Rule Does Not Prohibit Disclosure of Threats to Safety

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services issued a letter to health care providers to ensure that they are aware of their ability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to take action, consistent with their ethical standards or other legal obligations, to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when they believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people.

Webinar: How to Engage Youth in Their Health Care

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation and Got Transition, the National Health Care Transition Center, invite you to join them for a webinar, “How to Engage Youth in Their Health Care” on Wednesday, February 27th.

Note that this is the first of a four part webinar series hosted by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its National Center for Medical Home Implementation. Learn more about  “The Medical Home in Pediatrics: The HOW TO Webinar Series.”

What are your needs as a provider?

If you are a health care provider who works with children and youth with disabilities or special health care needs, what kind of resources would be most helpful to you?  Call 303-733-3000 or email communication [at] familyvoicesco [dot] org to share your perspective.