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Legal Resources | Health and Safety Code |  HS  124174.6  

Public School Health Center Support Program   

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The department shall establish a grant program within the Public School Health Center Support Program to provide technical assistance, and funding for the expansion, renovation, and retrofitting of existing school health centers, and the development of new school health centers, in accordance with the following procedures and requirements:

(a) A school health center receiving grant funds pursuant to this section shall meet or have a plan to meet the following requirements:

(1) Strive to provide a comprehensive set of services including medical, oral health, mental health, health education, and related services in response to community needs.

(2) Provide primary and other health care services, provided or supervised by a licensed professional, which may include all of the following:

(A) Physical examinations, immunizations, and other preventive medical services.

(B) Diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries and acute medical conditions.

(C) Management of chronic medical conditions.

(D) Basic laboratory tests.

(E) Referrals to and followup for specialty care.

(F) Reproductive health services.

(G) Nutrition services.

(H) Mental health services provided or supervised by an appropriately licensed mental health professional may include: assessments, crisis intervention, counseling, treatment, and referral to a continuum of services including emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, inpatient care, and outpatient programs. School health centers providing mental health services as specified in this section shall consult with the local county mental health department for collaboration in planning and service delivery.

(I) Oral health services that may include preventive services, basic restorative services, and referral to specialty services.

(3) Work in partnership with the school nurse, if one is employed by the school or school district, to provide individual and family health education; school or districtwide health promotion; first aid and administration of medications; facilitation of student enrollment in health insurance programs; screening of students to identify the need for physical, mental health, and oral health services; referral and linkage to services not offered onsite; public health and disease surveillance; and emergency response procedures. A school health center may receive grant funding pursuant to this section if the school or school district does not employ a school nurse. However, it is not the intent of the Legislature that a school health center serve as a substitute for a school nurse employed by a local school or school district.

(4) Have a written contract or memorandum of understanding between the school district and the health care provider or any other community providers that ensures coordination of services, ensures confidentiality and privacy of health information consistent with applicable federal and state laws, and integration of services into the school environment.

(5) Serve all registered students in the school regardless of ability to pay.

(6) Be open during all normal school hours, or on a more limited basis if resources are not available, or on a more expansive basis if dictated by community needs and resources are available.

(7) Establish protocols for referring students to outside services when the school health center is closed.

(8) Facilitate transportation between the school and the health center if the health center is not located on school or school district property.

(b) Planning grants shall be available in amounts between twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a 6- to 12-month period to be used for the costs associated with assessing the need for a school health center in a particular community or area, and developing the partnerships necessary for the operation of a school health center in that community or area. Applicants for planning grants shall be required to have a letter of interest from a school or district if the applicant is not a local education agency. Grantees provided funding pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to do all of the following:

(1) Seek input from students, parents, school nurses, school staff and administration, local health providers, and if applicable, special population groups, on community health needs, barriers to health care and the need for a school health center.

(2) Collect data on the school and community to estimate the percentage of students that lack health insurance and the percentage that are eligible for Medi-Cal benefits, or other public programs providing free or low-cost health services.

(3) Assess capacity and interest among health care providers in the community to provide services in a school health center.

(4) Assess the need for specific cultural or linguistic services or both.

(c) Facilities and startup grants shall be available in amounts between twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per year for a three-year period for the purpose of establishing a school health center, with the potential addition of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in the first year for facilities construction, purchase, or renovation. Grant funds may be used to cover a portion or all of the costs associated with designing, retrofitting, renovating, constructing, or buying a facility, for medical equipment and supplies for a school health center, or for personnel costs at a school health center. Preference will be given to proposals that include a plan for cost sharing among schools, health providers, and community organizations for facilities construction and renovation costs. Applicants for facilities and startup grants offered pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to meet the following criteria:

(1) Have completed a community assessment determining the need for a school health center.

(2) Have a contract or memorandum of understanding between the school district and the health care provider, if other than the district, and any other provider agencies describing the relationship between the district and the school health center.

(3) Have a mechanism, described in writing, to coordinate services to individual students among school and school health center staff while maintaining confidentiality and privacy of health information consistent with applicable state and federal laws.

(4) Have a written description of how the school health center will participate in the following:

(A) School and districtwide health promotion, coordinated school health, health education in the classroom or on campus, program/activities that address nutrition, fitness, or other important public health issues, or promotion of policies that create a healthy school environment.

(B) Outreach and enrollment of students in health insurance programs.

(C) Public health prevention, surveillance, and emergency response for the school population.

(5) Have the ability to provide the linguistic or cultural services needed by the community. If the school health center is not yet able to provide these services due to resource limitations, the school health center shall engage in an ongoing assessment of its capacity to provide these services.

(6) Have a plan for maximizing available third-party reimbursement revenue streams.

(d) Sustainability grants shall be available in amounts between twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000) per year for a three-year period for the purpose of operating a school health center, or enhancing programming at a fully operational school health center, including oral health or mental health services. Applicants for sustainability grants offered pursuant to this subdivision shall be required to meet all of the criteria described in subdivision (c), in addition to both of the following criteria:

(1) The applicant shall be eligible to become or already be an approved Medi-Cal provider.

(2) The applicant shall have ability and procedures in place for billing public insurance programs and managed care providers.

(3) The applicant shall seek reimbursement and have procedures in place for billing public and private insurance that covers students at the school health center.

(e) The department shall award technical assistance grants through a competitive bidding process to qualified contractors to support grantees receiving grants under subdivisions (b), (c), and (d). A qualified contractor means a vendor with demonstrated capacity in all aspects of planning, facilities development, startup, and operation of a school health center.

(f) The department shall also develop a request for proposal (RFP) process for collecting information on applicants, and determining which proposals shall receive grant funding. The department shall give preference for grant funding to the following schools:

(1) Schools in areas designated as federally medically underserved areas or in areas with medically underserved populations.

(2) Schools with a high percentage of low-income and uninsured children and youth.

(3) Schools with large numbers of limited English proficient (LEP) students.

(4) Schools in areas with a shortage of health professionals.

(5) Low-performing schools with Academic Performance Index (API) rankings in the deciles of three and below of the state.

(g) Moneys shall be allocated to the department annually for evaluation to be conducted by an outside evaluator that is selected through a competitive bidding process. The evaluation shall document the number of grantees that establish and sustain school health centers, and describe the challenges and lessons learned in creating successful school health centers. The evaluator shall use data collected pursuant to Section 124174.3, if it is available, and work in collaboration with the Public School Health Center Support Program. The department shall post the evaluation on its Internet Web site.

(h) This section shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated to the department in the annual Budget Act or other statute for implementation of this article.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 381, Sec. 4.)