Translating Community Needs into Policy Change
Youth Healthcare Alliance advocates on behalf of and alongside Colorado school-based clinics to translate needs into policy changes at the state level. We are committed to challenging systems, practices, and beliefs that lead to inequitable conditions for our youth and their families. We also partner with other state affiliates and our national affiliate to bring about change at the federal level.
2023 Colorado Legislative Session Overview
The majority of bills we supported in 2023 passed for the benefit of our communities. We supported the following:
Senate Bill 002 creates the pathway for community health workers to be reimbursed on Medicaid, which will allow for school-based clinics who have health educators, patient navigators, and other similar types of staff to be supported with Medicaid billing.
Senate Bill 174 allows for limited mental health services to be covered in Medicaid for persons under age 21 without first requiring a diagnosis, and such services will include individual therapy, services related to prevention, promotion, education, or outreach, evaluation, intake, case management, and treatment planning.
We were also able to preserve static state funding for school-based clinics.
Review a summary of bills relevant to school-based clinics and school health that passed and were signed into law during the 2023 Colorado general assembly session.
2022 Colorado Legislative Session Overview
The majority of the bills we supported in 2022 for the benefit of our communities became law. We prioritized the following:
Senate Bill 147 will direct $1.5 million of new, one-time funding from the American Rescue Plan Act toward school-based clinics to support behavioral health access in communities.
We were also able to preserve state funding for school-based clinics.
Review a summary of bills relevant to school-based clinics and school health that passed and were signed into law during the 2022 Colorado general assembly session.
Our Top Priority: Funding for School-Based Clinics
Clinics rely on state funding for general operating grants to subsidize operations, including providing critical non-billable services and supporting uninsured access to care. In each legislative session, the number one priority for Youth Healthcare Alliance is to defend current state revenue and to find opportunities to increase funding for school-based clinics in state and federal budgets.
Other Policies and Legislation Important to Us
Youth mental health
The growing youth mental health crisis is an urgent and continued concern and we appreciate policy solutions that improve access to healthcare services and build resiliency and equity within communities.
Access to care
We advocate for the expansion of school-based clinics to reduce healthcare barriers, provide more prevention and screening services, and serve as a medical home for uninsured and Medicaid youth.
Social determinants of health and health equity
We support bills that would lend to systemic changes in the communities where we work by removing social determinants of health barriers and increasing equity.
Our healthcare workforce has experienced challenges in the last few years and it is critical that we invest in retaining and recruiting high-quality healthcare professionals from the communities where we work so we can maintain access to care.