Policy Work - State Update

State Policy Session 2012

A 24% budget cut - a total of $1.2 million - of SBHC funding proposed

The Oregon Health Authority has included this cut in the top tier of budget cuts approved by the Governor. As we approach th legislative session, please take some time this December and January to speak out against this proposed cut by speaking up about the benefits of school-based health care in your communities.

You have the power to help protect a vital source of primary, mental and preventative for thousands of Oregon students and their families. Whether its hosting a tour or Open House at your SBHC, sending a quick email to your legislators (see a sample email below), supporting the inclusion of SBHCs in Oregon's new CCO model (see article below), making a donation to the Network, or simply talking to your neighbors and friends about the benefits of school-based health centers - SBHCs need your voice.

Another way you can help is to bring that voice to the capitol: February 1, 2011 is SBHC Awareness Day at the Capitol! Please save the date, start making your preparations and stay tuned for more details!

Sample e-mail to legislators: My name is ______ and I live in ______.

I have heard that the agency budget reduction recommendation includes a cut to school-based health center funding. I am writing to ask you to remove these cuts from the reduction recommendations. In our community, SBHCs are critically important. They help our families find affordable and accessible health care right at school.

Without our SBHC, many children would not get the health care they need to be healthy. (talk about your community- travel time/high need, etc- and include the points above that are relevant to you and your relationship with the SBHC) I know that if these cuts happen, many SBHCs may close or greatly reduce their hours. Children will not get the health care they need to be healthy and stay in school. SBHCs are one of Oregon's smartest investments.

Thank you. (Leave your contact information)

A Few More Advocacy Resources--all found in our  Awareness Tool Kit at www.osbhcn.org/awareness.
SBHC Open House and Tour Instructions
Tips for writing Op-Eds and Letters to the Editors
Find Your Legislator
Tips on Talking to Your Legislator

 

Get Involved in CCO Development

Health Care Reform is in full swing in Oregon, and it's important for SBHCs to get involved now! Through mid-January, the Oregon Health Policy Board is considering a draft business plan that discusses what Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), a new community-defined service delivery and payment structure for Medicaid providers, will look like. SBHCs need to have a voice in this process to remain a viable and reimbursable part of children's health care. There are three opportunities for SBHC advocates to issue recommendations: December 13, 2011, through testimony or written comment at the next OHPB meeting in Portland; December 19, 2011 through January 3, 2012, during Public Comment Period on the Draft CCO Business Plan; and January 10 through January 18, 2012, the final Public Comment Period on the Draft CCO Business Plan. For more information, including talking points that you can present, click here..

2011-- Cuts to the State SBHC Budget Have Been Revoked!

On Tuesday, May 24th, legislators on the Ways and Means Committee voted to reverse the $500,000 cut to the SBHC program recommended by Governor John Kitzhaber. The Funding was restored as part of the 2011-2013 Public Health budget, which includes a total of $491 million in total state and federal funds.

The Restoration of SBHC Funding is a Triumph for Kids!

"This is a huge victory for continued access to health care in school and for students across the state," says Paula Hester, Executive Director of Oregon School-Based Health Care Network, the leading policy advocacy voice of school-based health centers and the communities they serve. "Thanks to the efforts of our grassroots supporters, adults and students alike, legislators heard loud and clear from their constituents and today's vote proves they were listening."

How We Got Here:

October 2010: A $2.3 million cut for SBHCs was outlined in the state budget proposal and the Network issued a call to action. Many conversations were held at a variety of meetings of the following months to remind policy makers about the value of health care "where the kids are" and the prevention work that took place with more than 24,00 students in the last year alone.

February 2011: Governor Kitzhaber proposed a $500,000 cut, a dramatic difference from the previous proposal, at a rally with SBHC youth advocates and SBHC supporters who joined forces at the Capitol to tell their legislators why they are the reason for this highly accessible model of care.

Every moment since then, the Network team, including Doug Riggs of NGrC and grassroots advocates, have worked diligently encouraging these legislators to reject the proposed budget cut, which could have led to closures of centers as well as declines in positive health outcomes among youth in the state.

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A $2.3 million cut to the state SBHC grant (39 percent of the budget) is proposed by the Oregon Health Authority in its 2011-2013 budget biennium recommendations.

This is the proposed cut, and is not a “done deal” — it has to be accepted by the Governor and state legislature in this session.

NOW is the time to organize against this cut. 

Find out how - Read the article HERE

State Update

The state budget--it's going to get worse before it gets better

Update July 26, 2010

As they prepare for massive cuts in the 2011-2013 budget, State legislators have asked that programs begin to think of how they can become more efficient. All SBHCs should be prepared for the potential of cuts---either directly to their state funding grants, or indirectly through cuts made by funding partners (school districts, county governments, etc).

What you can do: ("The time to make friends is before you need them").

  • Invite your state legislators to your center so they can see firsthand the important work you do. This will make a huge difference when they are deciding which programs to cut.
     
  • Attend candidate forums and ask the candidates what their position is on school-based health care. Invite candidates to tour your centers. Knowledge is power!
     
  • Review our Awareness Tool Kit for other ideas on how to engage key stakeholders in SBHC advocacy.

Update June 10, 2010
To respond to the major revenue shortfall, the Governor is using his authority to make “allotment cuts”—across the board cuts to agency budgets.

Each agency has submitted its cut plan: http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/0610AgencyAllotmentReductions.shtml#Introduction

In the DHS budget, there are no cuts to the SBHC program, but there are cuts to planned increases in payments to Medicaid insurance plans and the public health division will not be able to fill several vacancies. 

Obviously the news is not good. Major SBHC partners --the Commission on Children and Families and DOE—must make cuts to their budgets.  Schools are closing early and this is affecting SBHC staff.

Unfortunately, the outlook continues to be grim for the 2011-2013 budget biennium.  We expect there to be as much as a $2.5 million revenue shortfall.

Update May 26
The revenue forcast that came out yesterday shows a $560 million shortfall--worse than predicted. The Governor is using his "allotment authority" to ask agencies to submit 9 percent cuts lists. Under that scenario, cuts to DHS could be $154 billion and cuts to K-12 education will be even more.

The economy is in recovery, but since our state has no sales tax, Oregon won't begin to see revenue increases until 2011. By some estimates, Oregon could be short $2.5 billion from what it needs to maintain existing services in the next budget biennium (2011-2013).

During the last budget session, legislators were able to tap into federal stimulous dollars and to raise taxes by referring Measures 66 and 77 to help balance the budget--but these revenue sources are unlikely to be available to the 2011 legislature.

 

Keeping Informed on DHS Transition

In June 2009, the Governor signed House Bill 2009 to create the Oregon Health Authority. The legislation moves most existing health-related state programs--including the Oregon Public Health Division which administers the SBHC program office--into a new agency called the Oregon Health Authority. Learn more.

What is OHA and OHPB?

Jeremy L. Vandehey, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the nine-member, citizen Oregon Health Policy Board, will be traveling to communities around the state in June and July to meet one-on-one and obtain input regarding health reform in Oregon for the Board. In December 2010, they were to make recommendations on the following:
 

  • Developing a comprehensive plan to provide and fund affordable, quality health care for all Oregonians by 2015; and
  • Creating a business plan for an insurance exchange in Oregon, including the feasibility of a public plan to operate within the exchange and an essential benefit package that all plans must offer in the exchange.

In addition, the Board is tackling a number of other health reform issues to the triple aim of:

  • Improving the health of the population;
  • Enhancing the patient experience of care (including quality, access, and reliability); and
  • Reducing, or at least controlling, the per capita cost of care.


Contact Information
If you're interested in more information, please:

Jeremy L. Vandehey
Community Engagement Coordinator
Oregon Health Authority
500 Summer St NE, E-20
Salem, OR 97301
503.602.1646 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              503.602.1646      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
jeremy.vandehey@state.or.us
 


 

Success in the 2009 Legislative Session

  1. Since 2001, the Network has successfully advocated to increase state SBHC funding by $3.8 million, including $1.38 million in the 2009 budget, keeping existing centers open and growing the number of centers available to kids in Oregon
  2. Ensured that SBHCs are eligible to apply for a grant program to provide health care to vulnerable children, allowing centers to continue to see children regardless of their insurance or immigration status
  3. Worked with advocates to provide insurance to an additional 80,000 children and 35,000 adults in Oregon
  4. Participated in a health care reform collaboration, which resulted in passage of legislation to reduce costs and improve health outcomes through prevention and wellness and by reimbursing providers differently
  5. Collaborated with state and local health officials to review and change the state’s funding formula to make SBHC funding more equitable. (See the history of SBHC funding.)
  6. United 100 advocates at the capitol on SBHC Day, including nearly 80 youth, to meet with legislators and tell their story about the needs in their community for quality, affordable health care
  7. Collaborated with the Oregon School Nurses Association to brief legislators on the differences between School Nurses and SBHCs and to pass legislation to reduce the nurse to student ratio in schools

Federal Update

 

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