The National Collaborative for Integration of Health & Human Services welcomes you to its weekly update email. Our updates highlight recent and upcoming events, policy activities, and announcements released in the sphere of health and human service integration.
Your Weekly Update on
Health & Human Service Integration

Check out this short (and sweet) report from Data Across From Sectors for Health: Data Sharing and the Law: Deep Dive on Consent.

We'll be taking a break next week - hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

--Your National Collaborative Team
(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
NAMD Conference - Secretary Azar's Comments
  • On Tuesday, Sec. Azar presented at the National Association of Medicaid Directors conference. His speech focused on: first, efforts to improve the well-being of Americans through promoting community engagement; second, combating addiction and the opioid crisis; and third, improving the availability of treatment for Americans with serious mental illness.
(Administration for Children & Families)
Feedback Requested - Research Connections Survey
  • The Child Care and Early Education Research Connections project will be ending in a few months after many years of supporting the evidence base for child care and early education research, policy, and practice. ACF's early care and education (ECE) datasets will remain accessible through Research Connections until March 2019; and then will be accessible through a new ECE Archive at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).
  • ACF is considering options and ideas for access to the other resources at Research Connections, and we would appreciate your response to a 5-minute survey on these resources.
Request for Comments - Data Exchange Standards for Improved Interoperability of Multiple Human Service Programs
  • ACF is soliciting comments on setting standards for data exchanges that affect the SSA Title IV programs for child welfare and foster care (title IV–B and IV–E), child support (title IV–D), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, title IV–A). Though they are also interested in receiving input affecting additional programs.
  • There are 5 questions in the request for comments to which ACF is especially interested in receiving responses (for ex, "1. The ability to share data is often impacted by state or federal law, policies, or other governing frameworks. Are there individual programs or agencies that are particularly impacted by their existence or absence? What are the key enablers and/or barriers to automated data exchange in your program or agency?")
  • Written comments must be submitted on or before January 7th.
Seeking State Input - CCWIS
  • ACF is currently developing a joint issuance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This issuance will be a toolkit document that provides guidance regarding Data Exchange between State Child Welfare Agencies and State Medicaid Agencies. The document will focus on CCWIS required exchanges described in 45 CFR 1355.52(e)(2)(iii)(A) and (B), which are systems that determine Medicaid eligibility and Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS).
  • ACF and CMS are looking for volunteer states who would like to share high level information about best practices in areas such as Memorandum of Understanding or Interagency Data Sharing Agreements, Medical Passports, and Data Sharing Excellence. If you have an interest in sharing a brief description of your best practices or other information regarding the working relationship between the Child Welfare Agency and State Medicaid Agency in your state, please respond to Jordan Panning at with the subject line BEST PRACTICES IN [YOUR STATE]. If selected, your story may be included in a spotlight section within the final toolkit document!
(Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
State Medicaid Director letter - Opportunities to Design Innovative Service Delivery Systems for Adults with a Serious Mental Illness or Children with a Serious Emotional Disturbance
  • On Tuesday, Secretary Azar announced new opportunities for states to design innovative service delivery systems for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with serious emotional disturbance (SED). CMS sent a letter to State Medicaid Directors outlining these new and existing authorities as well as a new opportunity for states to receive authority to pay for short-term residential treatment services in an institution for mental disease (IMD) for these patients. In addition to the 1115 demonstration opportunity the letter also describes strategies under existing authorities to support innovative service delivery systems for adults with SMI and children with SED.
Proposed Rule - Medicaid Program; Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Managed Care
  • This proposed rule advances CMS’ efforts to streamline the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) managed care regulatory framework and reflects a broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens; support state flexibility and local leadership; and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care.

Conference call on the Proposed Rule
  • November 28th from 1:00-2:00pm EST, WebEx: 1-877-267-1577 ID: 991 662 228
Informational Bulletin - Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns model
  • CMS issued an informational bulletin to announce the final evaluation of the CMMI Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns model, including an overview of the findings and key Medicaid covered services.
More to come...
  • At an event on Wednesday, Secretary Azar announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is looking into a new care model that could let hospitals and health systems pay for patients' social needs, like housing and nutrition. We will share more about this as soon as we can.
2019 Spousal Impoverishment Standards
  • CMS released an informational bulletin related to the 2019 Spousal Impoverishment Standards.
(Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT)
ONC is hiring
  • ONC seeks a senior policy advisor responsible for guiding the development of federal health IT priorities, policies, and implementation.
(U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Two New WIC Food Package Reports Released
(Government Accountability Office)
Report - Leading Practices for State Programs to Certify Peer Support Specialists
  • Millions of American adults with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, go untreated each year. This is driven, in part, by a national shortage of behavioral health care professionals. In recent years, states have increased use of peer support specialists—people who use their own experience recovering from mental illnesses to support others. GAO looked at how 6 states certify that the specialists have basic competencies and the ability to support others.
(Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission)
Letter to Secretary Azar Regarding Implementation of Work and Community Engagement Requirements
  • In this letter to HHS Secretary Azar, MACPAC comments on the early results of Arkansas’s work and community engagement requirements. MACPAC calls for a pause in disenrollments in order to make program adjustments to promote awareness, reporting, and compliance.
Funding Opportunity
NIH & SAMHSA - HEALing Communities Study: Developing And Testing An Integrated Approach To Address The Opioid Crisis
  • The NIH, in partnership with SAMHSA, plans to fund up to 3 research sites to participate in the 'HEALing Communities Study': Developing and Testing an Integrated Approach to Address the Opioid Crisis. The HEALing Communities Study will, "test the immediate impact of implementing an integrated set of evidence-based prevent and treat opioid misuse and Opioid Use Disorders within highly affected communities." Applications open Sunday, November 11, 2018 and are due Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. local time of the applicant.
Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) - New Funding Opportunity: Prenatal-to-Age-Three State Grant Competition is now accepting applications!
  • PCI invites states to apply for participation in its Prenatal-to-Age-Three State Grant Competition. Five to 10 Planning Grants ($100,000/grant) and three to five Action Grants (ranging from $1-3 million to be made following the planning process) will be awarded to states who submit winning proposals focused on expanding needed state and community services for children prenatal to age three and their families. Please join us to be a part of this exciting new movement. Letters of Intent are due January 15, 2019. Proposals are due on February 15, 2019. Download the application and instructions here.
  • Webinar on November 27th at 1 pm ET for interested and potential applicants to share details of the grant process and to respond to questions.
News Articles