Behavioral Telehealth Rates Comparable to In-Person Services

Great legislative news!

LB 487  parity of reimbursement for behavioral telehealth , meaning comparable pay as in-person delivery, has advanced from Committee !

They say no to all telehealth parity; they only say yes to us, behavioral telehealth. 

This means that it shall be ready for floor debate. After three rounds, then it can pass and the bill becomes law with the Governor’s approval.

And it is unanimous for the 8 members Committee of banking, commerce and insurance  who voted to advance LB 487 to General File.  

The following members make up my core group of legislative/advocacy action. They are the think tank and the  galvanizing force.

Paul Springer, president
Carrie Hansen- Bradley, president elect
Becky Stefanski, secretary
Reka Kluver , treasurer
Brandon Lyons, associate member 
Tracey Minto, board member at large
Katie Kueny, board member at large
Dani Parrish, board member at large
Audrey Hines, election committee
Sarah Thibault, election committee
Cassandra Leow, election committee (and website guru!) 
Rene Pretorius Parks, past president
Sherry Hubbard, past president 

Thank you to those who demonstrably support our efforts so far. The work is not finished. We need 25 votes out of 49 to pass this.

Once again I need to reach out to you  to write letters (or you can pick up the phone)  and say whatever that is favorable  to the cause. Blanket emails are usually discarded. It is imperative that you  include  your home address so that the senator knows you are his or her constituent. If you can meet face to face with your senator, it is the most compelling. At the least,  one line email is okay. 

Please google Nebraska Legislature, left column, click Senators, then Find You Senator, key in  your  residence address, and you would know  who  he or she is. Please go to their webpage and you would find out who is their legislative assistant. Please CC to their legislative assistant. Many times they run the show. Do not underestimate them. The seasoned ones actually draft the language of bills that become laws.  Senators receive 100 pieces of mail a day. And they read 25% of it. Please keep  your message short.  

At this time there are many bills ahead of us and no time is set for floor debate. But once it is set it moves very quickly.  

We are in good company. The medical doctors and the psychiatrists are with us.  I have testified at public hearing (testimony) . I have provided to them list of comparative studies extolling the efficacy of behavioral telehealth equivalent  to in- person services.   There are notes on the different arguments in response to challenges raised by senators as well as opponents who are insurance groups, BCBS, Medica, Nebraska Federation of Insurance , etc. For talking points, please click here.

To motivate you to go to our web site, an example of a challenging question is:   

 Will parity incentivize professionals just use telehealth rather than in-person?

Telehealth and in-person behavioral delivery are not mutually exclusive of each other. Level the plain field in reimbursement allows  another option for consumers. It is also a faulty assumption that telehealth is inferior to in-person. It all depends on what is “best fit” for the client/patient.  

As I have indicated in past correspondence (Feb 3) , the best way to communicate with me is a straight line:  or 308 383 7000 if you have questions, concerns , and input about any legislative/advocacy issue.

Please attend to this matter as soon as you can. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

Anne Buettner, M.A.
Legislative Chair
3008 West Stolley Park Road, Suite 4
Grand Island, NE 68801
O 308 383 7000
F 308 384 7968

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