Delaware - School-based or School-linked Mental Health Services: Programs and Services

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.

Delaware Code 18-3571 School-based health centers.

(a) For purposes of this section, a school-based health center (SBHC) is a health clinic that:

  • (1) Is located in or near a school facility;
  • (2) Is organized through school and health provider relationships;
  • (3) Provides through licensed professionals primary health services to children, including comprehensive health assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of minor, acute, and chronic medical conditions, referrals to and follow-up for specialty care and oral and vision health services, mental health and substance use disorder assessments, crisis intervention, counseling, treatment, and referral to a continuum of mental health and substance abuse services including emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, inpatient care, and outpatient programs; and
  • (4) Is recognized by the State pursuant to relevant regulations and law.

(b) The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) shall have sole authority to determine whether a facility is an SBHC as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Except as noted herein, benefits provided under any group or blanket health insurance policy which is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this State shall reimburse SBHCs for covered services provided by SBHCs as if those services were provided by a network provider under the relevant contract of insurance. In the absence of an agreement between a carrier and an SBHC on reimbursement, reimbursement for such services shall be at the rate established by the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance for those services. Any insurance contract term purporting to exclude otherwise covered services on the basis that they are performed by an SBHC shall be void except as specifically permitted under this chapter.

(d) If DPH has approved an SBHC, that approval shall be deemed sufficient to meet the carrier's standards for inclusion in its network or for being eligible for payment by the carrier.

(e) SBHCs shall not charge co-pays or any other out-of-pocket fees to students for use of SBHC services. Insurance carriers shall not incur any additional financial liability by virtue of this subsection.

(f) The Delaware DPH, in coordination with the State's SBHCs, insurance carriers, and the Department of Insurance, shall issue regulations to ensure that SBHCs are properly integrated into the State's spectrum of health-care providers that provide covered services to youth. These regulations shall include, but are not limited to:

  • (1) Regulations governing reporting to and interaction with students' primary care providers; and
  • (2) Regulations regarding promotion of vaccinations among student users of SBHCs.

(g) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the enforceability of an agreement negotiated between an SBHC and an insurance carrier governing claims submission, reimbursement, quality standards, credentialing and similar matters, provided, however, that in the absence of such agreement the terms of this chapter shall govern.

Delaware Code 14-4126. School-based health centers.

(a) All public high schools, including vocational-technical schools, but not including charter schools, are required to have a school-based health center compliant with § 3571G of Title 18 and regulations promulgated thereunder.

(b) The State shall bear the start-up costs for a school-based health center at any public high school that lacks such a center as of July 20, 2016. The State shall fund such costs for at least 1 school per fiscal year until such a time as all public high schools, other than charter schools, are in compliance with this section.

Policy Links: