Social Services

Medical form and stethoscope

Nebraska names new slate of vendors to handle Medicaid starting in 2024

BY: - September 23, 2022

OMAHA — In a process that’s seen more than typical scrutiny, Nebraska administrators on Friday announced their selection of three vendors to handle the state’s Medicaid managed care program starting in 2024. The services now cost the state nearly $3 billion a year. For the new five-year period, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services […]

$9 million federal award to UNMC center to beef up ag safety and health

BY: - September 23, 2022

OMAHA — A $9 million national award to the University of Nebraska Medical Center will help beef up regional efforts ranging from safety training for bison workers to studying dust-induced lung injury. The funds go to the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) at UNMC’s College of Public Health. Though headquartered in […]


Hospitals, other providers question State of Nebraska’s failure to pay health data provider

BY: - September 23, 2022

LINCOLN — The state’s provider of health care data and prescription drug purchases says its services to doctors and hospitals are being threatened because the state is failing to fully pay up on a $15 million-a-year contract. The lack of payments to CyncHealth prompted that organization’s board of directors — a group of hospital and […]

Pottawattamie County

Pottawattamie County sheriff says jail changes made since ‘tragic’ 2018 case

BY: - September 14, 2022

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA — Pottawattamie County Sheriff Andy Brown said Wednesday that reviewing and improving jail medical care has been a top priority following a 2018 incident in which a county inmate had to have both legs amputated. Brown said the case of inmate Kevin Pittillo was tragic and that since Brown took office in […]

Pottawattamie County

Justice sought for Nebraska ward whose legs were amputated after being jailed

BY: - September 14, 2022

(Editor’s note: this story has been updated with jury verdict on Wednesday) COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA — Kevin Pittillo was delirious, not wearing a shirt or jeans and claiming that he was a former KGB agent from Russia or a current member of the U.S. military, when he was hauled to the Pottawattamie County Jail in […]

$25 million Radius campus for youth residential treatment rises in North Omaha

BY: - September 12, 2022

OMAHA — A $25 million residential youth treatment center rising in North Omaha aims to fill a service gap in the metro area, one that has had courts and families sending some troubled teens off to other states to get help. The new Radius nonprofit will feature a 24-bedroom facility for residents ages 12 to […]

Saint Francis Ministries

State officials say child welfare transition from Saint Francis to state is going well

BY: - September 8, 2022

LINCOLN — State officials say the transition of child welfare case management from troubled Saint Francis Ministries to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has gone well over the past six months, while emphasizing there is more work to do. “Right now it’s like a 6-month-old baby we’re doing a ‘well check’ on, […]

Siembra health care tour

Governor moves to prevent backlog of license approvals for 166 medical professionals

BY: - September 8, 2022

LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts took action Thursday to unclog a backlog of approvals of state licenses for more than 150 health professionals.  This spring, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill requiring the state to submit fingerprints of certain health care workers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national criminal background checks. But the […]

Kansas foster care provider reviewed failures in Nebraska before agreeing to end contract

BY: - September 7, 2022

TOPEKA — Officials from Saint Francis Ministries met with Nebraska regulators on Dec. 9, 2021, to review the organization’s failure to comply with the terms of its state contract. The Kansas-based foster care provider had struggled to provide medical records for all the children it served, or documentation of in-home services and monthly visits, or […]

Town hall scheduled Wednesday concerning transition from Saint Francis Ministries

BY: - September 6, 2022

LINCOLN — State officials on Wednesday will provide an update, and take feedback, on the transition of child welfare case management in eastern Nebraska from Saint Francis Ministries to the state. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services cancelled its contract with Saint Francis in December of 2021 after the Kansas-based social services provider […]

Creighton University research shows fast-growing political divide over childhood vaccine policies

BY: - September 2, 2022

OMAHA — The political divide over childhood vaccinations surfaced before the COVID-19 virus. But partisan discord about them has grown faster than the hot-button issue of abortion. That’s according to research led by Omaha Creighton University’s Kevin Estep and newly published in the American Journal of Public Health. Estep, assistant professor in the Department of […]

Saint Francis Ministries

Nebraska Attorney General now says he’ll explore whether the state was a victim of fraud in Saint Francis contract

BY: - September 2, 2022

LINCOLN – Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson indicated Friday he will evaluate the state’s legal options in pursuing funds that may have been fraudulently spent via the state’s contract with a Kansas foster care provider. Peterson responded to a request by State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha to explore whether Saint Francis Ministries defrauded the […]