Michigan Association of School Nurses

Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health Friday Notes

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachel VanDenBrink

December 12, 2014
In this issue
New Rules Regarding Immunization Waivers Moving Forward
Healthy Michigan Plan Surpasses Total Enrollment Projection in Eight Months
Congress Posts Funding Bill, $3 Million Increase for Title V MCH Block Grant
New Rules Regarding Immunization Waivers Moving Forward
MCMCH and other health advocates are applauding new rules regarding immunization waivers that MDCH will begin implementing January 1.

Parents who seek a vaccination waiver for their child entering school will now have to be educated by a local health worker about vaccines and the diseases they are intended to prevent, and sign a universal state form that includes a statement of acknowledgement about the risks of refusing vaccines. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules moved the new requirements forward on Thursday.

Michigan is one of 20 states that allow parents to waive school vaccinations for reasons other than medical necessity or religious beliefs and has the fourth highest rate of vaccination exemptions. Michigan is also seeing increasing numbers of vaccine-preventable diseases reported.

Currently the state allows counties to implement their own process for obtaining a waiver--ten counties already require an educational session about vaccines before parents can obtain a waiver.

In addition to create the consistent standard of informed consent for those seeing vaccine waivers, the rules clarify current practice that allows the local public health officer to exclude any children who are not vaccinated from school and instructional time when an outbreak occurs.

MLive ran a series of articles this week looking at Michigan's vaccination rates, waivers and the risks of outbreaks. On Thursday MLive's editorial board called for the removal of 'philosophical' exemptions from vaccine requirements for school entry and to strengthen religious and medical waivers. MLive Media Group has created a petition calling for these steps and for vaccination rates in schools to be made public.

MCMCH joined physician, nurse and health care leaders from across the state, issuing a joint statement in support of new childhood immunization guidelines:

"Childhood immunizations protect our kids from dangerous infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and whooping cough, but more and more Michigan kids are at risk as non-medical exemption rates rise and immunization rates fall.

"Today's update to state regulations regarding immunizations is about information and education and ensuring parents have enough of both as they make critical health decisions that impact their families and communities. Families choosing not to immunize their children will still be able to do so, but they will be supported with a consistent, detailed assessment of the personal and public health implications of their choices. We commend the Snyder Administration and lawmakers, especially State Senator Jim Marleau, for their leadership on this essential issue and for making this important update to state rules."
Healthy Michigan Plan Surpasses Total Enrollment Projection in Eight Months
The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Thursday that the Healthy Michigan Plan has surpassed its original two-year and total eligibility projection this week by reaching more than 477,000 enrollees.

On April 1, enrollment for the Healthy Michigan Plan launched to extend health care benefits to a half-million low-income residents. As of Thursday, 481,863 Michigan residents have enrolled in the program.

As part of the ongoing effort to assess the goals and results of the Healthy Michigan Plan, MDCH recently commissioned the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation to complete a five-year study of the plan's implementation. The study also satisfies a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services federal waiver requirement to commission an independent evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan.

On September 25, Snyder and MDCH announced that more than 400,000 Michigan residents enrolled in the program. Earlier in the year on July 10, Michigan surpassed the entire first-year enrollment goal by reaching 323,000.

Health coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan includes both federally and state mandated Essential Health Benefits such as ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, mental health and substance use disorder services. These benefits encompass behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and
devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, pediatric services including oral and vision care, and other medically necessary services as needed.
Congress Posts Funding Bill, $3 Million Increase for Title V MCH Block Grant
This week Congress posted a final FY 2015 spending package that includes a $3 million increase for the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant and provides funding through Sept. 30, 2015. This is a positive step in an austere environment. When approved, this will increase the MCH Block Grant from $634 million to $637 million.

A chart of all accounts is available here, with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau programs starting on page 131 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs starting on page 134. In a bill that provides largely flat funding for most domestic programs, this small increase is welcome news and further evidence that voices advocating for MCH populations are being heard.
Contributors to this Issue
Gongwer News Service
Quick Links . . .

Study: Almost Half of U.S. Children Exposed to Adverse Experience
A study in Health Affairs found nearly 50 percent of U.S. children were exposed to at least one of nine adverse experiences -- such as extreme economic hardship or mental health or substance abuse problems -- while more than 22 percent were exposed to two or more. Researchers said children who experienced such events had more than twofold increased odds of chronic conditions and special medical needs. However, those who adopted resilience skills thwarted the negative effects of the events
Michigan Selected for Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables
USDA announced this week the selection of eight states to participate in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables, as directed by the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill. Under the pilot, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin will be able to increase their purchases of locally-grown fruits and vegetables for their school meal programs. USDA Foods - provided by the USDA to schools - make up about 20 percent of the foods served in schools. States use their USDA Foods allocation to select items from a list of 180 products including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, rice, low fat cheese, beans, pasta, flour and other whole grain products. This pilot program will allow the selected states to use some of their USDA Foods allocation to purchase unprocessed fruits and vegetables directly, instead of going through the USDA Foods program.

This pilot is designed to support the schools' pre-existing relationships with vendors, growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors, and increase the use of locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables in school meal programs. While the pilot does not require sourcing locally grown foods, the project will enable schools to increase their use of locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables from AMS authorized vendors. Unprocessed fruits and vegetables include products that are minimally processed such as sliced apples, baby carrots, and shredded lettuce.
CSHCS Posts Customer Support Section Manager Position
CSHCS has posted a position opening for a CSS Manager. The CSS Manager plans, organizes and directs staff responsible for providing eligibility, enrollment and customer support services for persons applying to or enrolled in CSHCS. The section supports all pre and post eligibility activities, including provider authorization. The manager provides or assures data system expertise and serves as the primary CSHCS interface with DTMB and IT contractors for management of the CSHCS electronic data systems, with Maximus for data exchange related to temporary eligibility periods, and with the Medical Services Administration related to CSHCS-specific data contained within the various sub-systems of CHAMPS. The section manager oversees two units assuring consistent application of published program policy and section procedures. More information available here.