On January 29, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, along with over 30 health and education focused organizations, joined a state-level discussion on the importance of school-based health care. The Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation convened the workgroup and lead the conversation.
The purpose of the School Based Health Care Workgroup is to improve academic achievement through better student health. The original Workgroup, which last met in 2014, set a clear direction for developing partnerships between primary care practices and schools across Ohio.
Now, with the firm understanding of how patient-centered medical homes function, the recent redesign of Ohio’s behavioral health services, and the second year of Medicaid’s Ohio Comprehensive Primary Care Program, the Workgroup is in better position to help shape programs that will have a lasting health impact for Ohio’s children. The timing to reconvene the group and restart the discussion is perfect.
Although the program is still being debated, the fundamental measurements for success are clear – take a preventative approach to chronic student absenteeism and place emphasis on school improvement that looks beyond the classroom.
The State of Ohio has hired The McKenzie Group Inc. to consult on plan development. Through their guidance, the Workgroup tackled questions regarding possible care delivery models between schools and primary care practices, incentives that would encourage school and physician participation, and a recognition that a working program begins with community support.
Additional information about the School Based Health Care Workgroup will be shared as details emerge. Questions about the meeting should be directed to Deputy Executive Vice President Kate Mahler, CAE, or by calling 800.743.7327.