Since 1985, Oregon's School-Based Health Center (SBHC) program has benefited from support by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Legislature. What began as an initial commitment of $212,000 to partially fund five SBHCs, has grown to a commitment of about $18.5 million to support both physical and mental health services in 77 certified SBHCs and a team of 9 at the SBHC State Program Office. (SPO)
SBHCs are required to provide services to all students regardless of the student's ability to pay. Given the gap between available funds from insurance payments and the required services and population to be served, the Oregon Legislature has provided funding to supplement and sustain SBHC services. State funding is intended to supplement other funding sources, both public and private, at the local level.
SBHC Base Funding
As per OAR 333-028-0260, each county that has a state-certified SBHC is eligible for state dollars through their local public health authority (LPHA). The LPHA is provided funds to support SBHCs and SBHC systems based on the number of state certified SBHCs in the county and the availability of legislatively approved dollars. The specific expenditure of the funds is a local level decision between the LPHA and local partners. Since the State Program Office funds are limited, funds for new SBHCs are awarded from time-to-time through a Planning Grant process.
The current funding formula for the 2015-2017 biennium is:
- Counties with only one certified SBHC receive $60,000/yr.
- Counties with > 1 certified SBHC receive $55,239/yr for each center.
For more details on the establishment of the funding model, please visit the SBHC Funding Formula Report 2009
.SBHC Certification without Available Base Funding
The SBHC State Program Office (SPO) currently anticipates that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will not have additional state funding available to support newly certified SBHCs for the 2017-2019 biennium. SPO will continue to certify new SBHCs, if requested. New SBHCs are still encouraged to apply for State certification in order to promote the health and well-being of the school-age population through evidence-based practices within a public health framework.
These newly certified SBHCs not receiving funding must adhere to the same requirements as funded SBHCs, according to Oregon Administrative Rules 333-028-0200 through 333-028-0250. When and if additional funding becomes available from OHA, SPO will review available funding as we enter a new fiscal year and fund LPHAs based on the date of certification approval or directed by the State Legislature.
SBHC Mental Health Funding
The Oregon Health Authority budget for 2015-2017 currently includes funding to the Addictions and Mental Health Division to support Oregon’s community mental health system. A portion of this funding is allocated for children’s mental health, allowing for a funding opportunity for School-Based Health Centers to support and increase their capacity to provide mental health services to their clients.
In the spring of 2015, the SBHC State Program Office (SPO) announced the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for School-Based Health Center Mental Health Expansion Grants. Applications were accepted to support mental health capacity within the school-based health center system by:
- Adding mental health staff and expanding current mental health staff hours, with the ability to collect and report on mental health encounter visits; and/or
- Supporting mental health projects within the school-based health center system, including:
- Implementation of a mental health screening tool, framework, or clinical approach
- Implementation of a mental health telehealth project
- Implementation of a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) and mental health research project
- Integration of behavioral health and primary care
- Support equity and cultural competency
Proposals were reviewed by an oversight panel, including individuals from the SPO and the Addictions and Mental Health Division. Applications were evaluated for unmet need based upon current mental health staffing and populations served. Counties received notification of their award status in June 2015.
- Total counties requesting funding: 22
- Total counties receiving funding for mental health FTE: 22
- New counties supported through MH Expansion grant: 6
- SBHCs supported by MH Expansion grants: 52
For more information on the SBHC Mental Health Expansion Grants contact Stefanie Murray, School Mental Health Specialist, email@example.com or 971-673-0246.