School-based health centers: A four year experience, with a focus on reducing student exclusion rates

Osteopath Med Prim Care. 2009 Mar 10:3:3. doi: 10.1186/1750-4732-3-3.


We describe a four year collaborative experience with an on-site, community school-based health center that is staffed by the Vallejo City Unified School District and supervised by the pediatric faculty of the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, with particular attention to first grade student exclusion rates.Patient demographics (including payer source), first grade enrollment statistics, and first grade exclusion rates were analyzed using school district enrollment and exclusion data, billing data, and Child Health Disability Program data.An ethnically diverse patient population is described, with the payer source in 99% of patients being the State of California Child Health Disability Program or no insurance source. Ninety-one percent of office visits were for well child care and immunizations. First grade student exclusion rates for failure to meet the state-mandated physical examination requirement fell 74% over the first four years of the school-based health center's operation.In summary, our school-based health center serves a patient population that is primarily uninsured. Reduction in first grade student exclusion rates enhances student education and reduces the loss of attendance-based state matching funds. Additionally, our school-based health center has been well accepted by the local community.