Policy Priorities

2016 Policy Priorities

  • 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). In September 2015, California submitted a state plan amendment (SPA) to implement this policy change. We are tracking this process closely and encouraging a smooth implementation in California. To learn more about this opportunity, check out our recent report: Policy Considerations for California Following the 2014 Reversal of the Medicaid “Free Care Rule”.
  • Health Care Reform Initiative – Health care reform is leading to many changes in how healthcare is delivered with the goals of improving care, improving outcomes, and reducing costs. We know SBHCs can play a role in achieving these goals. We continue to educate local policymakers and health care payers about the value that SBHCs bring to a coordinated system of care and about the policy changes needed to strengthen that role. Check out our strategies around this work and sign up for regular email updates.
  • Hospital Community Benefit – Hospitals claiming 501(c)(3) charitable, tax-exempt status must conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) at least every three years (beginning in 2012/2013) and adopt strategies to address prioritized needs. Similar to our Health Care Reform Initiative, we are reaching out to local hospitals to introduce them to SBHCs and working locally to educate the school health field about changes to community benefit requirements and how to engage hospitals.
  • School Mental Health – Along with our programs and technical assistance to develop school mental health services, we are working on state and national policies that improve funding and resources for school mental health. Check out our toolkit on local funding strategies that invest in school mental health programs.


  • Stay tuned! We are currently developing our legislative priorities.
  • Other legislation – We take positions on a number of bills each legislative session. Click here to see the bills we support or oppose.