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(DC) Promoting Children’s Well-Being
March 8, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
Today’s children enjoy unprecedented rates of health insurance coverage, thanks to federal efforts such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Still, many educators report that their students need more consistent access to high-quality care.1 Data bears out their observations: 1 in 4 children has not seen a health professional in the last six months2 and 6.7 percent of children receive delayed or no medical care despite need.3
Several healthcare models place schools at the center of care coordination and delivery. Some well-known models rely on strategic partnership: school-based health centers bring clinical support to school sites from local sponsors. As another example, under the community schools approach, a site coordinator identifies nearby providers who can help a school strategically achieve its goals for student wellness. However, these models are at work in less than 5 percent of schools and therefore do not currently reach many students.
A different model leverages school health professionals with federally recognized health credentials; school districts in nearly every state can opt into an elaborate Medicaid system for reimbursing district employees who provide covered health services to eligible students. School-based Medicaid, while perhaps less well known and more bureaucratic, is far more prevalent and offers a widespread existing infrastructure for improving children’s access to care.
With “Healthy Students, Promising Futures,” the Obama administration encouraged states to consider leveraging these and other models because each has the potential to improve children’s health and better address social determinants. As the political landscape shifts under a new administration and the new Every Student Succeeds Act, do some models have more promise than others? This panel will explore and contrast components of each model with attention to their impact, scalability and complementarity.