Counties Support Expanded Reimbursement of School Behavioral Health Services

On February 7, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in support of SB 0201 – Maryland Medical Assistance and Children’s Health Insurance Programs – School-Based Behavioral Health Services – Reimbursement.

The House Health and Government Operations Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, HB 0082, on February 14.

SB 0201 requires the Maryland Department of Health to apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a State plan amendment authorizing reimbursement of behavioral health services provided in schools for students on these insurance plans.

This expanded opportunity for reimbursement would benefit Maryland schools in a number of ways, from increasing funds available to the school programs that provide mental and behavioral health services for students, to relieving some of the pressures faced by our already overextended school staff.

From the MACo Testimony:

At a time when our students are struggling with mental health as they return to classrooms post-pandemic and as our schools struggle to hire and retain qualified staff, SB 201 poses a solution to both challenges. This bill would advance a process for critical mental and behavioral school services to potential reimbursement from the Maryland Medical Assistance and the Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Programs. In doing so, Maryland would help ensure the state’s most vulnerable low-income students will be better supported and that the school staff who care for them will be better resourced to do so. This expanded opportunity for reimbursement under SB 201 would directly translate to increased funding for the school offices and programs providing mental and behavioral health services for students – and that, in-turn, helps those programs better support all Maryland public school students, regardless of their family’s socio-economic status.

The bill’s cross-file, HB 0082, will be heard in the House Health and Government Operations Committee on February 14.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

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