May 5, 2023
Healthy Schools Campaign has launched the School Medicaid Database, a text-searchable collection of publicly available school Medicaid documents in all 50 states.
The Database was designed especially for state education agencies and state Medicaid administrators working to create resources that support school districts in expanding access to physical, behavioral and mental health services.
Encouraged by new federal support, many states are expected to update their school Medicaid plan to allow for an expansion of services and billing. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, signed into law in 2022, calls on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to release updated school Medicaid guidance in 2023, establish a technical assistance center, and award $50 million in state grants to implement, enhance or expand school Medicaid programs.
“As states seek to learn more about healthcare delivery and Medicaid billing for school health services — especially mental health services — the Database can help states learn from and connect with other states,” said Jessie Mandle, HSC national program director.
HSC consultant Sarah Broome, a Schmidt Innovation Fellow, researched state Medicaid and education agency websites in 2022 and identified documents specific to Medicaid-funded school services and billing.
While states have flexibility in setting up their school Medicaid program, that same flexibility complicates finding information from every state, as there’s no standardization of documents or guidance provided to school districts and local education agencies (LEAs), said Broome.
“One of the most common questions states ask is, ‘How are my peers getting information to the districts?’” said Broome. “The School Medicaid Database provides one place to get access to that information. It increases the visibility of state programs and available materials that may be of use to other states.”
The information is organized by state and by topic. Users can select a specific state and get a quick overview of its program and the resources it provides to school districts. The topic pages invite viewing similar resources across states, such as all materials related to parental consent, for example.
The opportunity for expanding school Medicaid has been available to states since 2014, when CMS affirmed that schools could seek reimbursement for all medically necessary health services provided to all students enrolled in Medicaid — instead of limiting reimbursement to services included in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
To date, 19 states have taken the necessary steps to leverage federal Medicaid policy, with more states following suit. Some states are also taking this opportunity to add more types of health providers eligible for reimbursement, as well as types of eligible services.
The Database is the latest tool HSC has developed to help states and school districts leverage Medicaid funding and learn how other states are proceeding. Policy briefs and other analyses can be found in the resources section at the Healthy Students, Promising Futures website.
State policies, materials and rules can change at any time. While Healthy Schools Campaign aims to update the database annually, we strongly encourage contacting the appropriate state agency to verify the status of specific documents or policies. Please email with updated state information and resource links.