Origin and History

The Children’s Specialty Care Coalition is a non-profit 501(c)(6) association representing over 2,500 pediatric specialists in California.

We are dedicated to ensuring that children and youth with complex health care needs have access to equitable, timely and high quality care, provided by pediatric subspecialists who are able to thrive in California’s health care environment, through strong leadership, education and advocacy.

During the early 1990s, California was in the midst of a dire pediatric subspecialist shortage, leaving low-income children in the state without acceptable access to life-saving medical care. This was a result of the expansive growth of managed care, and its cost containment strategies that dominated the private insurance market. This caused reductions in private sector reimbursement, and de-facto eliminated the cross-subsidization that had funded health care for low-income sick children for generations.

In 1994, the Coalition’s founding members began a grassroots advocacy campaign to address the growing crisis. The Coalition was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(6) association in 2001, following one of its signature accomplishments, which was the passage by the state legislature of a 39 percent Medi-Cal rate increase for physician services, as part of the California Children’s Services Program. The increase had a substantial impact on improved access to pediatric subspecialty care in California.

For two decades, CSCC has made a profound impact in children’s access to specialty care in California. Some of the most notable achievements include achieving and maintaining a thirty nine percent enhanced reimbursement rate above the standard Medi-Cal rate for specialty care physicians, and sponsoring legislation to extend the California Children’s Services (CCS) carve-out of specialty care from managed care from 1999-2017.  CSCC was also instrumental in the passage of SB 586, which ensured provider and patient protections as it relates to the Department of Health Care Services’ implementation of its CCS Whole Child Model. 

Additionally, the Coalition supports legislation and state budget proposals that improve and protect children’s health. CSCC successfully advocated for the use of Proposition 56 tobacco tax dollars to boost payments to Medi-Cal providers for select billing codes, as well as the implementation of a loan repayment program for providers who commit to serving at least 30 percent Medi-Cal patients. The organization has also supported legislation to expand coverage and ensure payment parity for services provided via telehealth, strengthen the integrity of vaccination laws, provide coverage for hearings aids for minors, among many other important measures that improve health for children.

Based in Sacramento, the Coalition’s foremost goal is to advocate on behalf of critically and chronically ill children and their families to ensure every child has access to the life-saving and life-enhancing health care they need and deserve.