Mental Health Advocates Seek State Funding To Cover Costs

Advocates for Nebraska groups that offer mental health and substance abuse services are seeking a boost in state reimbursement that they say would better reflect the actual cost of treating patients.

The Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations pointed Thursday to a state-commissioned study showing that rates paid for behavioral health services are far below the costs of providing care.

The group says roughly one in five Nebraskans will suffer from a mental illness or addiction in any given year, and one in five high school students report that they have seriously considered attempting suicide.

Sen. Kate Bolz, of Lincoln, has introduced a bill that would increase state reimbursement for such services by 5 percent in each of the two years of the upcoming two-year budget.

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