Medicaid payment for juvenile therapies amended, advanced

Lawmakers gave second-round approval April 13 to a bill that would authorize Medicaid reimbursement for therapies used to assist troubled Nebraska youth.

LB500, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would direct the state Department of Health and Human Services to submit an application by July 1, 2015, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a state plan amendment to provide payment for multisystemic therapy and functional family therapy for youth who are eligible for both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Ogallala Sen. Ken Schilz offered an amendment, adopted 29-0, which added the in-home family services model to the list of therapies in the state plan amendment. He said the addition would ensure that the entire state has therapy models that fit the needs of Nebraska’s youth and families.

“This is the Boys Town model,” Schilz said. “It’s trademarked, it works well and it fits with western Nebraska.”

Howard supported the amendment saying it would provide a more complete system of care for the state’s troubled youth.

Following adoption of the Schilz amendment, the bill advanced to final reading by voice vote.

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