This year at the legislature the most controversial bill is LB 574 Let Them Grow Act. I have duly informed the Board of NAMFT at every board meeting and it is time to inform you of the changes that impact transgender care.
The new Let Them Grow Act, which restricts gender care in Nebraska for patients under 19 years of age, come into effect October 1st, 2023. The act prohibits surgical procedures for youth under age 19 and regulates the use of pharmacological treatments for youth under age 19. The act does NOT prohibit post-operative care for minors. Gender-affirming medical treatment for adults is NOT affected.
Behavioral health therapy for minors is NOT impacted by legislation.
Mental health practitioners may continue to provide behavioral health services including assessment and psychotherapeutic treatments for patients with gender dysphoria.
Mental health practitioners may continue to write letters of support for children/adolescents pursuing puberty blockers, hormone therapy and/or gender-affirming surgical interventions – noting that this treatment will need to be provided outside of the state of Nebraska.
This law does NOT restrict or prohibit REFERRALS for gender-affirming care. This is very important as NAMFT has vigorously lobbied to Senator Knuth, introducer of LB 574, successfully to maintain the right to make referrals.
The regulations for non-surgical gender-affirming care proposed by Chief Medical Officer which are temporary and shall probably become permanent after public hearing on November 28, 2023 are:
- Patients under age 19 undergo at least 40 hours of therapy and wait another 7 days after having their prescription approved before receiving any medications.
- Patients must have lived 6 consecutive months as their preferred gender.
- Patients undergoing treatment must continue to receive at least one hour of therapy every 90 days.
- Providers must receive a signed document of informed consent from a parent or guardian, or from the patient if they are emancipated minors.
Every credential holder has a duty to report unprofessional conduct under the Uniform Credentialing Act, and the duty would now include violations of the Let Them Grow Act or the regulations associated with the Act.
Let Them Grow Act (LB 574)
November 13, 2023