DHHS Partners with OpenBeds to Improve Timely Access to Inpatient Mental Healthcare in and around Omaha

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/23/2021

Julie Naughton, Office of Communications, (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell);


OMAHA  Residents of Omaha and the surrounding area are expected to have improved access to inpatient mental healthcare resources under a pilot program between the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare and OpenBeds, an Appriss Health company providing technology that identifies, unifies and tracks behavioral health resources to facilitate rapid access to definitive treatment.​

“Nebraskans who are in crisis need timely access to vital services to begin the process of recovery," said Sheri Dawson, director of the DHHS' Division of Behavioral Health. “In this project, OpenBeds will help providers in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington Counties quickly connect patients to a network of inpatient mental health providers."

DBH provides funding for people who do not have private insurance or are not eligible for Medicaid.  Nebraska's six behavioral health regions provide a network of mental health and substance use disorder services for eligible Nebraskans. This announcement follows Nebraska's selection in 2019 as one of 23 states in a national crisis intervention registry project. States were charged with developing registries to reduce wait times for emergency department patients urgently needing inpatient psychiatric care. Following collaborative work with partners, the pilot project is ready for implementation. 

With the OpenBeds behavioral health system in Region 6, Nebraska's most populous behavioral health region, can become more responsive for the people it serves. Social workers, case managers, and other healthcare professionals will no longer need to spend hours on the phone to try to locate available treatment options for their patients. Instead, these providers can immediately identify treatment services and refer patients to care in a few clicks. Data collected during the pilot will identify capacity challenges and provide data driven opportunities to find solutions.

A total of seven states – Nebraska, Ohio, Alaska, Indiana, Delaware, New Mexico and Nevada—have deployed the OpenBeds system to help identify gaps in care delivery and ensure patients have the opportunity to get appropriate and timely care. Lessons from the pilot program will be utilized for statewide implementation. 

Appriss Health provides trusted technology solutions to federal and state governments, payers, health systems, clinicians, pharmacies, and health information exchanges working to improve public health. Their technology connects nearly all U.S. states, close to 1 million prescribers and half a million care team members, more than 30,000 pharmacies, and thousands of hospitals, managing more than 400 million daily transactions.

If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

  • Nebraska Family Helpline, (888) 866-8660
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116  
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

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