Nebraska bill to increase access to mental health and substance use treatment passes

Nebraska lawmakers unanimously voted to pass a mental health services bill Friday.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 2:20 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A bill to create new clinics to increase access to mental health services and substance use treatment passed unanimously Friday.

LB276, passed its final round on Friday in the Nebraska Legislature with a vote of 46-0. The bill, introduced by Sen. Anna Wishart, aims to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, which coordinate with hospitals, law enforcement and other social services.

Earlier this year Sen. Wishart claimed other states that use this model of care have seen a reduction in hospital visitations and incarceration days.

Gov. Jim Pillen supported the bill and says it will help improve care in Nebraska.

“We must come together to solve tough problems, and mental health and substance abuse are tough problems,” Pillen said in a statement Friday. “This piece of legislation will help transform mental health and substance abuse services in Nebraska. The clinics created by this bill will integrate comprehensive physical and behavioral health services in a community-based setting while operating under a cost-based payment system. LB276 is a no-brainer.”

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics have to follow certain criteria and provide specific services, including 24/7 access to crisis services and the acceptance of all patients regardless of ability to pay or place of residence.