71-5681. Legislative findings and declarations.

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:

(1) Eighty-eight of Nebraska's ninety-three counties are classified as mental and behavioral health profession shortage areas by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services;

(2) The Department of Health and Human Services reports that seventy-four percent of the state's psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed mental health practitioners live and practice in the urban areas of Omaha and Lincoln, which leaves the remaining seventy-two thousand square miles of Nebraska to be covered by approximately one-fourth of the professionals licensed to practice behavioral health in Nebraska;

(3) Thirty-eight Nebraska counties have one or no licensed behavioral health professional; and

(4) Reductions in federal funding will result in the elimination of over five thousand five hundred behavioral health patient visits in rural Nebraska.

Source:Laws 2006, LB 994, § 39; Laws 2007, LB296, § 628.