Nebraska community behavioral health center bill passes unanimously

Nebraska legislators have unanimously passed a bill that would allow state agencies to follow the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Model, ABC affiliate NTV reported May 22. 

Proponents of the bill feel the model will help improve organization and integrate state behavioral health services to improve quality of care when patients move between facilities. 

The model also ties primary care to mental health services. It has been rolled out already at five pilot sites throughout the state.

To be certified, clinics must provide nine types of services, and the services must be available at all hours regardless of ability to pay. The services include outpatient mental health and substance abuse services, outpatient clinic primary care screenings, crisis mental health, psychiatric rehabilitation services, peer support and counseling, as well as family support.

The model is additionally expected to improve the retention and hiring of mental health workers. 

The program will be supported by cash funding with a match in federal dollars initially and will eventually be included in Medicaid plans. The bill calls for the state to seek federal Medicaid approval before Jan. 1, 2026.

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