Group launches plan to improve behavioral care access

Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 10:49 AM CDT
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A Nebraska health network and the state university medical school have launched a system to increase access to behavioral health treatment.

Nebraska Medicine and its research and education partner, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, have begun returning most patients -- once they're stable -- to their primary care providers for ongoing care. That opens up more appointment slots for new patients.

David Cates is Nebraska Medicine's behavioral health director. He tells the Omaha World-Herald that limited access to psychiatric providers is a regional and national problem.

Cates says psychiatric treatment providers typically follow patients indefinitely, leaving few openings available for new patients. He says that in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, 92% of outpatient psychiatry visits at Nebraska Medicine were return ones.

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