February is School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

This newsletter will focus on some important updates both here in Maryland and nationally. Be sure to spread the word about School-Based Health Care Awareness month. 
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange will recognize SBHCs as ECPs

MASBHC is pleased to announce that we have achieved a major victory in our campaign to secure the recognition of school-based health centers (SBHCs) as Essential Community Providers (ECPs). On Monday, January 25, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange endorsed MASBHC's proposal to recognize SBHCs as ECPs. Since health plans must have 30% of all ECPs in their networks, health insurers will now have an incentive to contract with SBHCs. The ECP requirement will go into effect for Exchange plans starting in January 2017. MASBHC will be working hard with SBHC networks in the upcoming year to implement this innovative new policy.  Maryland is only the 5th state to recognize SBHCs as ECPs. MASBHC will continue to keep our membership posted on any further developments on this big win for SBHC sustainability

Maryland 2016 Healthy Kids Preventative Health Schedule 

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently released the updated schedule on the Healthy Kids Preventative Health Schedule which took effect in January 2016. All of the new requirements align with the standard of care recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Here are some updates to be aware of. DHMH will require:
  • Vision and hearing assessments at well child exams at ages 3 years, 8 years, and 10 years old
  • Annual depression screenings beginning at age 11
  • STI's risk assessments will begin at age 11 instead of the previous age of 12
  • Substance abuse  risk assessments will begin at age 11 instead of the previous age of 12
For the full list of new requirements click here
SBHCs Legislation from from Senator Debbie Stabenow

As part School-Based Health Care Awareness Month, the School Based Health Alliance is building support for an upcoming piece of legislation from Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Senator Stabenow will present a comprehensive school-based health care "vision" bill  that will provide support for SBHCs to expand clinical operations, innovate service delivery models, maximize reimbursements, and secure SBHCs' status as safety net and essential community providers.

The School Based Health Alliance will host a webinar on February 4 to provide more information regarding this legislation and what you can do to support its passage. 

To register click here
Telemedicine: The Emerging Trend for SBHCs

As you may recall, Howard County was the first jurisdiction in Maryland to implement a telemedicine initiative in SBHCs in Maryland. Telemedicine is an emerging hot topic in the world of school-based health. According to the School Based Health Alliance 2013-2014 census, 7.8% of SBHCs nationally utilize telemedicine in their centers and the rate is increasing exponentially.

The 2014-2015 school year was the first year the telemedicine technology was utilized in SBHCs in Maryland. Here is an update on the MASBHC blog 
on how the initiative has taken off for the 2015-2016 school year and how the it has been received by both parents and schools in Howard County. 

The School Based Health Alliance blog recently featured a spotlight on AMD Global Telemedicine to help school based health providers understand the growing appeal of telemedicine and its benefits to school-based health. Click here to read the SBHA blog spotlight on AMD Global Telemedicine.