Health and Human Services

Broadened omnibus health services bill clears second round

An omnibus health services bill was broadened to include four additional measures heard by the Health and Human Services Committee and given second-round approval March 15.

Sen. Ben Hansen
Sen. Ben Hansen

As amended during the first round of debate, LB1215, sponsored by Blair Sen. Ben Hansen, contains the provisions of a half a dozen bills considered by the committee this session.

Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood successfully amended the bill on select file to add provisions of two measures she sponsored. LB1373 would create the Dietitian Licensure Compact and add dietitians to the health professions that require a background check in Nebraska.

Blood said the compact would take effect when seven states pass enacting legislation. The compact would not alter dieticians’ scope of practice, she said, and would facilitate the mobility of licensed dieticians and reduce licensure barriers. The amendment was adopted 29-0.

A second Blood amendment, adopted 33-0, would add her LB823. The provisions would adopt the Physician Assistant Licensure Compact, which she said would ease an existing burden on physician assistants licensed in other states who move to Nebraska by allowing them to practice without having to obtain another license.

Sen. Jen Day of Omaha offered an amendment to add provisions of her LB1106 and LB1107, meant to increase access to breastfeeding services for Medicaid recipients in Nebraska.

LB1106 would require Medicaid to cover a minimum of 10 lactation consultations for every mother or child covered under Medicaid. It also would increase current lactation consultant provider rates by 145%.

Provisions of LB1107 would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to provide Medicaid coverage for electric breast pumps for every qualified pregnant woman, beginning no later than Jan. 1, 2025.

“This change will not affect the vast majority of mothers on Medicaid, but for the ones that it does affect, it has the potential to make a world of difference,” Day said.

The Day amendment was adopted on a 37-0 vote and LB1215 advanced to final reading by voice vote.

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