2017 Policy Priorities
- Protect health care funding sources that are integral to school-based health sustainability.
School-based health centers (SBHCs) rely on a range of safety net funding streams and programs that may be at risk in the coming years. The ability for the SBHC field to thrive is dependent on protecting programs such as Medi-Cal, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), prospective payments for federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs), FamilyPACT, Children’s Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP), and Health4All Kids. We will work with education, healthcare, and children’s advocates to protect these investments. Read our statement affirming our commitment to health care, education, and inclusion.
- Strengthen incentives for the health care system to partner and sustain school-based health services.
Continue building relationships between health plans, hospitals, schools, and SBHCs to pilot collaborations on a local level. At the state level, continue to strengthen incentives for the health care system to partner with SBHCs or schools (i.e. through the preventive services rule, Accountable Communities for Health, or implementation of the change to free care rule).
- Optimize opportunities under the change to the “free care rule” and increase funding for school health services through the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option.
Advocate for the state to fully implement CMS’s change to the free care rule and to support LEAs as they increase reimbursement for non-IEP health services. Provide information, updates, and analysis to the school health field to encourage school districts to take advantage of the coming changes and expand the scope of school health services.
- Increase resources for school-based mental health.
CSHA will continue to develop a strong in-house understanding and resources about various strategies for funding school mental health. We will also advocate for more funding and better utilization of existing funding that supports trauma-informed, youth-empowering, and multi-tiered school mental health services.
- Ensure the new SBHC state program is fully staffed and high-functioning.
With new state funding, for the first time SBHCs will have a home and dedicated staff within the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CSHA will continue to apply pressure for the staffing of these positions and will work closely with the department to support the staff and offer recommendations for how the positions can best serve the SBHC field. We will lay the foundation to advocate for continued funding for these positions.
- AB 834 (O’Donnell) – We are sponsoring legislation this year, AB 834 (O’Donnell), which would establish an Office of School-Based Health programs within the California Department of Education (CDE). The office would provide leadership and assistance to school districts offering health programs through the public schools. The Office would work closely with the Department of Health Care Services to assist school participation in federal reimbursement programs, like the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Program and School Medicaid Administrative Activities. We are excited to work closely with the author and school districts to strengthen school health services.
- Other legislation – We take positions on a number of bills each legislative session. Click here to see the bills we support or oppose.