DHCS & California Surgeon General Launch ACEs Aware Initiative

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Medical Director Dr. Karen Mark on Wednesday unveiled the first phase of the ACEs Aware initiative, the statewide effort for California healthcare providers to screen patients for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). California is now offering a two-hour provider training to screen pediatric and adult patients for ten categories of ACEs, including abuse neglect, and household dysfunction, that increase the likelihood of ACE-associated health conditions due to toxic stress.

Beginning January 1, 2020, Medi-Cal providers can be reimbursed for ACEs screenings for Medi-Cal patients. Recall, the 2019-20 Budget Act included $45 million ($22.5 million state funds and $22.5 million federal funds) in provider reimbursements for such screenings. The broader ACEs Aware initiative seeks to provide training, clinical protocols, additional resources, and payment for screening adults and children for ACEs. Detecting ACEs early and connecting patients to interventions, resources, and other support can significantly improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and families.

In addition, DHCS and the Office of the Surgeon General are convening the Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Advisory Committee’s Provider Education and Engagement Subcommittee via webinar on December 13, 2019, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.. The webinar will discuss a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for external organizations to apply for grants to support provider training and provider engagement activities, communication and outreach to providers, and meetings to train providers and encourage the development of linkages and referral network.

The webinar will include an opportunity to provide public comment. Public comments can also be submitted via this survey by Monday, December 16, at 5 p.m. PST.

The newly unveiled ACEs Aware website is available here.

Registration for the webinar is available here .