Advocating for Public Policies

Advocating for Public Policies to Expand Role of SBHCs in Health Care Reform

We are working in a number of ways to advocate for policies that support this initiative and improve the integration of school-based health in health care reform:

  • CMS Preventive Services Rule: The federal government is allowing states the option to widen the scope of providers under Medicaid that can be reimbursed for preventive services. This could impact schools and SBHCs by providing reimbursement for services delivered by other providers in the clinic setting, such as Medical Assistants, Community Health Workers, and health educators. We are working with other stakeholders to advocate that the state take advantage of this opportunity to expand the delivery of preventive health services.
  • CMS Free Care Rule: In December 2014, the federal government reversed a longstanding policy that impeded the ability of school districts to get reimbursed for the school health services they provide to students (called the “Free Care Rule”). We believe this could significantly increase school district revenue for health services (for example, funding for school nurses). DHCS must send out guidance to schools before billing actually changes so we are working with other advocates to bring questions and concerns to DHCS to ensure there is a smooth implementation in California. To learn more about this policy change and the opportunities for improved school-based health care, check out our new report: Policy Considerations for California Following the 2014 Reversal of the Medicaid “Free Care Rule”.