“An ounce of prevention is worth (more than) a pound of cure”: This ancient adage greatly understates the present reality when it comes to community health. The real work of achieving a healthier community must be done while people are still healthy — through prevention and promotion of good health practices.
As 49 senators head into a new session, a new year, a new decade, they will bring Nebraska residents along with them in the policy they set and the public discussions they have along the way. Many are seeking clarity on the major issues of our state, and how Nebraska fits into the national political and social scheme.
On Sept. 15, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan implemented a two-step prior authorization process for occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services for Medicaid beneficiaries. Many physicians and therapists were unaware of this policy change until just prior to, or some time after implementation. Since the change, extended delays for children and adults to access therapy services has been the norm.
Fifteen years have passed since a landmark mental health care reform bill took effect in Nebraska, aimed at shifting the balance of mental health care services away from state hospitals and toward community programs and initiatives. And, while some measurable progress has been made to make that transition real and beneficial, far more work needs to be done.
LINCOLN — The two-tier Medicaid system that officials are proposing as a way to cover more low-income Nebraskans would be unique to the state. The Heritage Health Adult system would include work, wellness and personal responsibility requirements, many of which have been tried by other states. However, the combination of requirements and the penalties for failing to meet requirements would be new.
As wind energy projects continue to be debated in this corner of the state, we can’t help but take note of what’s happening in O’Neill this year. O’Neill Public School officials recently provided an update on a $13 million building project that will break ground in July.