Contact: Christina Dettman
CHFS, KDE visit to Williamsburg highlights Health Services Access in Schools
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is optimistic that phased-in implementation of expanded school health services will be possible during the 2019-2020 school year, through a Medicaid state amendment known as “Free Care.”
Leaders from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) traveled to Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) Wednesday.
The visit featured a tour of the in-school Dayspring Health Clinic, which may benefit from a proposed amendment to the Medicaid state plan.
“I am excited about Williamsburg Independent’s partnership with Dayspring. The partnership will be helpful in providing needed physical and mental health resources to the district’s students,” said KDE Commissioner Wayne Lewis.
“If the Medicaid amendment is approved, I believe we will see similar partnerships and programs established in schools and districts throughout the state,” he added.
Children with Medicaid coverage often do not receive needed healthcare services due to barriers, such as lack of transportation, parent work schedules, or finding a nearby provider who accepts Medicaid.
“The Medicaid state plan amendment would allow school districts to use federal funding to expand access to qualifying physical and mental health services for students enrolled in Medicaid,” explained CHFS Secretary Adam Meier.
The amendment would allow school districts to bill for a health service provided to students enrolled in Medicaid if a provider delivers that service free to all students.
“It is important to ensure our children are able to access necessary care while in school,” said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, Commissioner of the Department for Public Health.
“We are happy to have had the opportunity to tour the Dayspring Health Clinic and Williamsburg Independent School District and learn more about their school health model and the benefits for students and faculty.”
The Dayspring Health Clinic at WISD opened in August of 2018 and provides onsite acute and chronic care for both students and staff.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to better care for our community, right where they are and when they need the care the most,” said Dr. Geogy Thomas, Medical Director at Dayspring Health. “It is a chance to update their preventative care needs such as vaccines so they remain healthy.”
CHFS and KDE will continue to provide updates on the proposed Medicaid state plan amendment, which is pending before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C.
In the meantime, superintendents are being advised of the program requirements and operational procedures to support improved healthcare access for students.
Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state’s human services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based Services the Department for Public Health, the Department for Aging and Independent Living and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.