Expanding Health Care Coverage


Children’s Defense Fund

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage


January 27, 2014


In this NYHealth-supported report, the Children’s Defense Fund identifies ways to sustain New York State’s school-based health centers (SBHCs), while also achieving the goals of the Medicaid Redesign initiative, to serve New York’s most at-risk children.

New York State has 250 SBHCs, which provide regular, accessible, and affordable primary care to more than 200,000 underserved children from elementary through high school.

SBHCs ensure that children and youth have on-site access to health services to support their ability to learn, and they are often an important referral source for adolescents’ oral and mental health services. Research shows that SBHCs are a cost-effective approach linked to improved health, reduced absenteeism, and higher graduation rates.

Using a rich array of data, this report identifies concrete, workable financing solutions and implementation methodologies for SBHCs within and beyond the Medicaid managed care environment. Committing to the sustainability and growth of SBHCs as providers for children and youth is imperative for improving the health and well-being of New York’s youngest residents.

On January 27, 2014, Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried co-hosted a roundtable in Albany examining SBHCs and comparing cost-of-care models to support SBHCs. The roundtable was held in reaction to, and was informed by, this Children’s Defense Fund report.