School-based health centers (SBHCs) are as individual as the clients they serve and are supported by many communities because they respond to local needs. Accordingly, the operations and financing of SBHCs depend upon local resources and partnerships.
The most common organizations serving as the health care provider and sponsor of SBHCs in California are community health centers and school districts. Other sponsoring organizations include county health departments, hospitals/medical centers, mental health agencies, nonprofit community-based organizations, and private physician groups.
SBHCs are funded, in part, through third-party reimbursement. Programs that support SBHCs include:
- The Child Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP)
- Family PACT
- Healthy Families
- EPSDT (County mental health)
In addition to reimbursement for services, SBHCs are also funded by county funds, private and government grants, contributions from the school district, subsidies from the sponsoring organization, and donations.
Federal health care reform has also provided a critical financial boost for SBHCs. The law outlines $200 million over four years for the construction of and equipment for SBHCs. It is the first time in history that there is a dedicated federal funding stream specifically SBHCs. In the first round of grants, which were awarded in July 2011, $14 million went to more than 40 SBHCs in California.
Read this factsheet on how some school districts are funding their SBHC.
For a more detailed look at how SBHCs are funded, check out our Funding section.