43-4215. Reimbursement rate recommendations; legislative findings and intent; Division of Children and Family Services of Department of Health and Human Services; implementation; pilot project; reports; contents.

(1) On or before July 1, 2014, the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services shall implement the reimbursement rate recommendations of the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee as reported to the Legislature pursuant to section 43-4212 as such section existed before June 5, 2013.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to create additional levels of caregiving for youth in foster care and to create an implementation plan for treatment family care services in order to expand the service array for high-acuity youth in the foster care system.

(3) The Legislature finds that (a) there is a need for consistency in the implementation of additional tiers of caregiving across the state, (b) additional tiers of caregiving and reimbursement exist in the continuum of foster care services available in Nebraska, however, there is a variation in the rates, implementation and outcomes, (c) the use of rates outside of the established rate structure can create barriers to permanency for children entering adoption and guardianship and prohibits the state from accessing federal foster care funds that would otherwise be available under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act, and (d) additional tiers of caregiving should be utilized to support the exceptional caregiving needs of children.

(4) The Legislature further finds that (a) additional treatment services are needed to support the behavioral and mental health needs of youth who are at risk of entering, or who are stepping down from, congregate treatment placement, and (b) treatment family care services uses blended funding to support caregivers and prevent placement disruption.

(5) On or before October 1, 2022, the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services shall, in collaboration with the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee, implement additional statewide tiers of foster care reimbursements for specialized caregiving with standardized rates for foster parents and child placing agencies.

(6)(a) On or before July 1, 2013, the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services shall develop a pilot project as provided in this subsection to implement the standardized level of care assessment tools recommended by the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee as reported to the Legislature pursuant to section 43-4212 as such section existed before June 5, 2013.

(b)(i) The pilot project shall comprise two groups: One in an urban area and one in a rural area. The size of each group shall be determined by the division to ensure an accurate estimate of the effectiveness and cost of implementing such tools statewide.

(ii) The Nebraska Children's Commission shall review and provide a progress report on the pilot project by October 1, 2013, to the department and electronically to the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature; shall provide to the department and electronically to the committee by December 1, 2013, a report including recommendations and any legislation necessary, including appropriations, to adopt the recommendations, regarding the adaptation or continuation of the implementation of a statewide standardized level of care assessment; and shall provide to the department and electronically to the committee by February 1, 2014, a final report and final recommendations of the commission.

Source:Laws 2013, LB530, § 2; Laws 2022, LB1173, § 10.
Operative Date: April 20, 2022