AASA Pushes for Policy to Address Providing Healthcare Services in Small & Rural Districts
Alexandria, Va. – As school districts are faced with a growing number of students with critical health and mental healthcare needs, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is seeking a solution to enable more communities to participate in the Medicaid program.
Today, AASA is releasing Structural Inefficiencies in the School-Based Medicaid Program Disadvantage Small and Rural Districts and Students, a report that describes how immediate congressional action could ensure school districts of all sizes deliver healthcare services more efficiently and to a greater number of students.
“School administrators have a responsibility to ensure strong academic performance by every student. Equally as important, they must also ensure that students have adequate needs for social and emotional development. That’s why we must make certain that children, especially those living in impoverished conditions, have access to proper healthcare and mental health services,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Our report shows how we can address the uphill battle of delivering healthcare and mental health services to students whose needs are going unmet.”
According to the report, the 750 school leaders in 41 states who are participating in the school-based Medicaid program found the complex administrative and paperwork requirements necessary to obtain Medicaid reimbursement significantly hindered district participation in the program. The report outlines how Congress and the administration must work together to provide states with the flexibility to reduce the administrative burdens that unfairly diminish the amount of reimbursement school districts receive.
“At a time when we have an uptick in children who lack health insurance coverage and a surge in children coming to school with unaddressed mental health needs, there is an urgency to improve the reimbursement stream for school-based Medicaid programs so schools can deliver more services to more students,” observed the report.
The passage of federal legislation, “The Improving Medicaid in Schools Act,” would allow states to implement a uniform, cost-based reimbursement methodology that would ensure districts of all sizes can be reimbursed by Medicaid for meeting the healthcare needs of their students regardless of their administrative capacity and student population.
The proposal leverages an existing and proven process for Medicaid claiming that ensures strong accountability measures are still in place but will simultaneously reduce the burden on State Medicaid Agencies and insurance companies to manage and respond to a high volume of Medicaid transactions from districts.
Click here to access a copy of Structural Inefficiencies in the School-Based Medicaid Program Disadvantage Small and Rural Districts and Students.