Thursday, February 22, 2018

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School-Based Health Centers


Q:        What is a Bassett Healthcare School-Based Health Center (SBHC)?

A:        A Bassett Healthcare SBHC, an expanded school health program, is a joint effort between a school district and the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital.  A SBHC provides comprehensive health care services to students in kindergarten (pre-K in Morris) through 12th grade at the school.  For those children with a primary healthcare provider, the SBHC staff, if desired by the parents, can work with that provider in caring for the child.  For children without a primary healthcare provider, the SBHC staff may become the primary source of health care.  If a child needs care when school is closed, the child can be seen by a provider of the parent's choice, including area Bassett Healthcare sites where there are available openings.


Q:        How does a student receive services?

A:        In order for a student to receive services, a parent must complete; the Student Information Form and Consent to Bill Insurance Form.  There are no eligibility requirements except to be a student attending the collaborating school. Parents are welcome to accompany their children to the Health Center. A parent may call their child’s school nurse or SBHC staff or send a note to arrange for the child to be seen at the SBHC.   If a child is too ill to attend school and the parent would like them to be seen by the SBHC staff, parents are encouraged to call the school nurse or SBHC to arrange for a same day appointment.


Q:        What services are provided?

A:            *Complete Physical Examinations  (may be used for athletic eligibility, NYS mandated school physicals, camp,
                 college, working papers; copies of which need to be completed while school is in session)     

                *Diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness               

                *Health Education                                                                            

                *Referral Services                                                                                         

                *Health screening (vision, hearing, scoliosis)                                                                 

                *Oral screening and dental referrals

                *First Aid


                *Mental Health screening and referrals

                *Mental Health Counseling

                *Social Work Services (Child Health Plus information and enrollment assistance)


Q:        Will students need to be enrolled in the SBHC to utilize the school nurse services?

A:        No, the school nurse will continue to provide all students with the same services they have in the past regardless of their enrollment in the School-Based Health Center.  Enrollment in the SBHC is voluntary and can be completed at any time. 

Note:  Students who do not have a completed SBHC enrollment on file will not be able to utilize the services of the SBHC.


Q:        What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A:        A nurse practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has successfully completed an accredited Nurse Practitioner program and has a National Certification. The nurse practitioner may also have a Masters Degree in Nursing.  Nurse practitioners may diagnose and treat illnesses and prescribe medications within their specialty area of practice. This is done in collaboration with a licensed physician qualified to collaborate in the specialty involved in accordance with an approved written practice agreement and protocols.  Easy access to quality health care for kids

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Q:        Who are the School-Based Health Center Staff?

A:        Bassett Healthcare Physician is the nurse practitioner’s collaborating physician.  The physician will be available for consultation as needed and will be on site at the school regularly to provide direct patient services.  A School-Based Health Center Assistant will provide clerical and operational support to the program along with assisting families with Child Health Plus enrollment.


Q:        What does it cost to use the SBHC?

A:        The SBHC program will bill students' health insurance for services provided on site at the School-Based Health Center. If the student does not have health insurance, there will be no charge to the student's family for health services provided. There will never be any out-of-pocket expenses to any family for SBHC services.  Billing services are provided through Bassett Healthcare.

**It is important to note that the cost of services not provided on site at the SBHC, such as some laboratory tests, all x-rays, specialty consultations, and prescriptions are the responsibility of the parent.


Q:        What is Child Health Plus?

A:        New York State has a health insurance plan for kids, called Child Health Plus.  Depending on the family’s income, your child may be eligible to join either Child Health Plus A (formerly Children’s Medicaid) or Child Health Plus B.  Enrolling in Child Health Plus can be coordinated through the School-Based Health Center.


Q:        Who has access to my child’s medical records?

A:        All medical records are confidential and only the staff of the SBHC will have access to these records.  In order to provide quality, comprehensive health care to the students enrolled, the SBHC staff would be happy to send a copy of your child’s Medical Records to their primary care health provider.  Prior to sending any records, the Student Information Form must be completed with necessary signatures.


Q:        What happens when my child is ill and the school is closed?

A:        The SBHC will be open whenever the school is in session.  Services will not be provided during the summer, during school vacations, or days off.  When the SBHC is not open, the Bassett Healthcare system is the back-up health facility. If the school is closed and your child is in need of emergency treatment call 911.  If not a medical emergency, call your health care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant) or:

                                                Bassett Healthcare 1-800-BASSETT


Please note:  Families with health insurance need to be aware of the rules of their individual plan, to avoid billing  difficulties. 

If you have any questions regarding the program, feel free to call any of the school nurses or the SBHC offices for further information.  Remember, there will never be any out-of-pocket expenses to any family for SBHC services provided on site.  Should you receive a bill for these services in error, please contact the SBHC office immediately.  Should you receive a check directly from your insurance company for services provided at the SBHC you should deposit the check and send a personal check, made payable to MIBH, to your child’s SBHC.

We look forward to working with you to assure that your child is receiving the best health care possible.  

Please feel free to call your child’s school nurse or SBHC office with any questions