May 26, 2023

Governor Pillen Signs LB276 Into Law

Posted May 26, 2023 10:21 AM

LINCOLN, NE – Governor Jim Pillen signed LB276, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Act into law Thursday. Governor Pillen was joined by LB276 author Senator Anna Wishart, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dannette R. Smith, Former State Senator Annette Dubas, and CenterPointe President Topher Hansen.

The Act will allow the creation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCHBCs) throughout Nebraska. CCBHCs are designed to ensure access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care. CCBHCs are required to serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age.  

Today, Governor Jim Pillen signed LB276, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Act into law.
Today, Governor Jim Pillen signed LB276, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Act into law.

"It is important that we offer help to Nebraskans who suffer from mental health issues and substance abuse problems," said Governor Pillen. "This piece of legislation will help transform mental health and substance abuse services in Nebraska. Other states that have adopted CCHBCs have called the results 'transformational,' and that is why signing this legislation is a no-brainer for Nebraska."

"This bill signed into law today will do a lot of good for a lot of people in our state," said Senator Anna Wishart. "CCBHCs will not only improve the quality of mental and behavioral health services in our state; it also is a smart investment that has the ability to reduce emergency room visits and incarcerations."

In other states that have implemented CCBHCs, data has shown substantial reductions in law enforcement involvement, hospital emergency department usage, and admissions to inpatient care. In addition, CCBHCs have shown increases in hiring and retention, including the addition of more peer support specialists, counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists.  

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity to co-create, along with Governor Pillen, Senator Wishart, and providers a new strategy that will utilize CCBHCs to increase access and quality of care services for those Nebraskans most in need,” said DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith.

"One in four Nebraskans will face a mental health crisis in any given year," said former State Senator Annette Dubas. "Having access to immediate care that meets individuals treatment needs is critical. CCBHCs will collaborate with communities to expand our existing system of care and provide needed care and hope to Nebraskans experiencing a mental illness or addiction."

"Healthy minds and bodies build strong Nebraska communities," said Topher Hansen, president and CEO of CenterPointe. "Having a vital, healthy community allows it to thrive and prosper. CCBHC’s bring whole person, integrated care that communities need to maintain good mental health and physical health so they can build their communities unimpeded by treatable illnesses. Crisis response, same-day access to services, youth, family, and adult care, and many other services needed in the community are realized through this model of providing services."