KUNM

Funding Delay Threatens Student Health Confidentiality

Aug 21, 2019

We’re two weeks into the school year and school-based health centers around New Mexico are still waiting on the state to finalize funding contracts.

Most school-based health centers here rely on funding from the state Department of Health. But leaders at several centers say they’re not sure when that money will come through.

 

Some are already serving students and will have to either absorb the costs or bill Medicaid or students’ insurance. Providers say that’s a problem. 

School-based health centers have confidentiality policies around reproductive and behavioral health. Students don’t have to get their parents’ permission. If their insurance is billed, their parents could find out they were getting birth control or counseling. 

Center staff say confidentiality encourages students to get the care they need. They were expecting state funding contracts in July, but center leaders say that’s been pushed back to early September.

 

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Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.