Legislative & Policy Corner

Federal Budget Outlook – What’s Next
AMCHP is currently compiling a summary of all MCH program funding included in the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill. The next milestone in the FY 2015 federal budget process is the expected release of President Obama’s budget proposal on Mar. 4. AMCHP will pass along details as soon as they are available.

Push on for MIECHV, PREP and F2F Reauthorizations
AMCHP is working with a broad coalition pushing for reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation program, and with additional partners pushing for extensions of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), and Family to Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs). There is some possibility these programs could be included as part of the “doc fix” currently being negotiated in Congress although at press time details are unclear. Stay tuned for action alerts and additional details will be provided as available.



National MCH Workforce Development Center Releases Request for Participation
The National MCH Workforce Development Center at UNC Chapel Hill, in cooperation with MCHB, and in partnership with AMCHP and national experts in MCH innovation and quality improvement, will offer state and territorial Title V leaders training, collaborative learning opportunities, and technical assistance in implementing health care reform using a variety of learning platforms. In the current dynamic context, tools and resources to strengthen MCH capacity and skills in four core areas will be available through the National Center to move from evidence to action.

  1. Improving access to care
  2. Using quality improvement tools to drive transformation
  3. Fostering integration and harmonization within public health and across organizational boundaries and sectors including primary care, mental health, early intervention and community-based service delivery and financing systems
  4. Furthering effective change management, collective action and individual leadership skills that will lead to health improvement for MCH populations

The center will address the four areas above by providing three levels of training and technical assistance: 1) universal training for all Title V staff and MCH trainees related to the 4 core areas; 2) targeted training and technical assistance for self-selected Title V staff and partners; and 3) intensive training and technical assistance for an annual cohort of states/territories. 

The center is releasing a Request for Participation (RFP) for states that wish to participate in the intensive training and technical assistance described above. With this RFP, the center is aiming to engage eight to 10 states and territories where center support may create new opportunities for Title V involvement in health reform, expand and scale successful multi-agency partnerships, and supplement ongoing or planned work. Participation in the intensive training and technical assistance should complement existing or planned activities rather than create an entirely new project. Costs related to travel and training will be covered by the center; state teams need only plan for an investment of staff time as these intensive collaborative partnerships will last approximately six to 18 months. Due date for the RFP is Monday, Mar. 10. Two Q&A webinars have been scheduled for the RFP: Friday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. EST (click here to register) and Monday, Feb. 24, at 9 a.m. EST (click here to register). Additional information regarding the center and the RFP is available at www.amchp.org/Transformation-Station.

AMCHP Releases Non-Medically Indicated Delivery Issue Brief
In recent years, increased attention and energy has focused on reducing infant mortality and improving birth outcomes in the United States. Both public and private organizations are investing time and funds on many fronts and in various methods and on many jurisdictional levels. This issue brief focuses on the recent efforts to reduce non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestation and various methods that state Title V maternal and child health (MCH) programs are utilizing to improve birth outcomes. There is differing terminology in reference to these deliveries, with early elective and non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks sometimes used interchangeably. This brief features the work of California, Texas and North Carolina. This project is part of a national project, Optimizing Health Reform to Improve Birth Outcomes, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to strengthen the capacity of state Title V MCH programs and their partners to improve birth outcomes and infant health through health reform and is part of the National Center for Health Reform Implementation work.

Webinar “Health Care for Immigrant Families in the ACA Era”
Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the National Immigration Law Center will be presenting a webinar on Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) titled “Health Care for Immigrant Families in the ACA Era” and will examine health reform law and regulations that affect the eligibility of immigrants and the access barriers they face, particularly when part of mixed-status families. The session also will look at which immigrant eligibility rules have not changed, showing a snapshot of the landscape of coverage options for immigrant families as health reform takes effect in 2014. To attend the webinar, please register here.