The case for expanding access to Medicaid school-based services in Oklahoma
With rising rates of mental distress among children and youth, schools play an increasingly pivotal role in addressing students’ mental health needs. However, only 15% of the state's 509 school districts are billing Medicaid for school-based services, despite available funding.
In this policy analysis, we examine how Oklahoma could increase students' access to mental health services by expanding school-based Medicaid services and look to other states' implementation as examples.
- To meet rising demand for mental health services among children and youth, Oklahoma could join 21 other states in capitalizing on a 2014 federal rule change allowing schools to deliver Medicaid mental health services to more students.
- Allowing schools to be reimbursed for providing Medicaid school-based services to a wider swath of students can help children receive mental health care they may not be able to access elsewhere.
- Expanding access to Medicaid school-based services is an opportunity for increased federal funding to Oklahoma. To ensure the successful delivery of school-based services, Oklahoma could leverage school-community partnerships to increase their capacity to serve children and youth with complex needs.