Kentucky to Expand School-Based Healthcare Services for Children
CHFS, KDE Partnership will provide increased mental health services, healthcare screenings, and acute care services for schools statewide
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 3, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), will seek an amendment to Kentucky’s Medicaid state plan to provide greater healthcare access to students in schools across the Commonwealth by allowing for the payment of qualifying physical and mental health services.
The proposed amendment allows Kentucky school districts to utilize federal Medicaid funding to provide students enrolled in Medicaid with increased access to school-based healthcare, including mental health services, health screenings, diabetes, and asthma management. Currently, only students enrolled in Medicaid with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) qualify to receive these services.
“The importance of school-based health services is proven, and I am grateful that our state agencies are partnering to implement this amendment, which will benefit thousands of students across Kentucky,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “This is an example of state government working across cabinets to find solutions to address the growing need for increased access to mental health services, preventive care, and other health services in our schools.”
In a letter sent statewide today to all 172 district superintendents, KDE Commissioner Wayne Lewis and Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Carol Steckel underscored the significance of providing high-quality health services to Kentucky children, noting that these services often “address challenges before issues get more serious, require more costly interventions, and potentially put other students at risk.”
“Given Medicaid’s historic role in supporting children’s health and educational outcomes, ensuring that all eligible students are enrolled in Medicaid and have access to the school-based health services they need are key strategies to supporting a healthy learning environment and academic success,” said Commissioner Lewis. “Many Kentucky school districts have significant financial challenges. The ability to further leverage federal resources to meet students’ health needs permits districts to target teaching and learning with state and local resources.”
According to data submitted in Kentucky’s proposal, the state has 1,688 students per school psychologist, when the national standard recommends 500 to 700. By allowing schools to access funding through the Medicaid program to place eligible health providers in schools and provide services covered under Medicaid, school systems will be able to address disparities in care.
“As a former classroom teacher, I know how valuable it is to have health services and behavioral health services for kids right there at the school,” said CHFS Deputy Secretary Kristi Putnam. “For many years, schools have struggled to find funding for provision of health services in schools, even though education leaders realize the importance of having these providers on site. More than two in five students are covered under Medicaid, so this initiative will have a tremendous impact within our schools.”
Children with Medicaid coverage often do not receive needed health services due to barriers such as lack of transportation, parent work schedules, or finding a nearby provider who accepts Medicaid. Increased school-based health services and telehealth are opportunities to address such barriers by providing a variety of health services beyond first aid treatment.
“This is an opportunity to reduce barriers for families so that children can be connected to critical health services, which also can raise awareness with the adults in the home about the importance of seeking care when needed,” added Putnam.
Acute care services can also be provided, such as treatment for asthma. Some school systems already directly employ health professionals to provide these services. Other schools, often in partnership with community organizations, community health centers, hospitals, or local health departments, have established school-based health centers to provide health care services to students.
The Medicaid plan amendment was submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on April 28, 2019. If approved, the goal is to begin this expansion of services and eligible students during the 2019-2020 school year for those school districts who choose to participate. CHFS and KDE are working in partnership to communicate program requirements to superintendents, and set up operational procedures to support improving health care access for students.
Media Contacts: Nicole Burton
Kentucky needs to continue education for registered nurses
Every day throughout Kentucky, 72,000 registered nurses (RNs) are on the front lines for care delivery armed with knowledge, courage and compassion for patients, families and communities.
Nearly a decade ago, strong advances started to occur in Kentucky to power up nursing knowledge after the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) landmark report on the future of nursing.
In 2010, the IOM released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which included an action-oriented blueprint to prepare 80% of the nursing workforce at the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) level by 2020.
It’s critical to better health and health outcomes.
BSN rate at an all-time high
KENTUCKY INCREASES BSN WORKFORCE BY 10% SINCE 2010
As you know, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended 85% of workforce to be at the BSN level by 2020, take a look at how Kentucky is doing!
The National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) reports 56% of the U.S. nursing workforce is at the BSN level – an increase from 49% in 2010 – a few states have increases of 13-15%, and a quarter of states have increases of 7-10%.
In KY, we jumped from 43% BSN prepared workforce in 2010 to 53% BSN prepared workforce in 2017.
We (KY) joined 9 states for the MOST growth with preparing BSN workforce since 2010 ->
MO (15%); MT (13.4%); LA (13.3%); OR (13.2%); IL (12.3%); Maine (11.6%); PA (11.5%); KY (10.8%); and OHIO (10.3%)
So PROUD of all the work Kentucky Nurse educators are making to impact patient care delivery!
For more information, check out the Campaign for Action website:
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales
Significant Changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid Program
We hope you find the below materials to be informative and helpful. They have been created by Kentucky Voices for Health to try to explain in words and pictures the changes in the program, the effects on various groups of Kentuckians, and the various requirements along the way.
Sue Hassmiller’s husband died in a cycling accident about a year and a half ago (Sept 2017). He was hospitalized on a vent for about 7-10 days and then was taken off life support and allowed to die. She wrote a blog about her experience in the ICU—her emotions, the care, etc. She continued to blog regularly for the next year. Since that time, she has used her experience as a vehicle to advocate for compassionate care. The two publications are products of that. Links below.