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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, DHHS Release Second Annual Business Plan and Priority Initiatives

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970

Kathie Osterman, Health and Human Services, 402-471-9313



DHHS identifies twenty priority initiatives to deliver better customer service.



LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Courtney Phillips released DHHS’ second annual business plan, titled “Good Life. Great Mission. Helping People Live Better Lives.”  The business plan identifies and details 20 key priority initiatives that will guide the work of DHHS through the 2017-2018 fiscal year. 


“These DHHS initiatives align with my top priorities, including making state government more efficient, more effective, and more customer-focused,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The DHHS business plan for the coming year will continue the department’s focus on these priorities through strategic actions, measurable outcomes, and transparency.”


“I appreciate the Governor’s leadership, his support of our work, and his focus on measurable outcomes,” said DHHS CEO Phillips.  “Our plan outlines DHHS priorities for the coming year, defines goals, identifies deliverables, and compels us to measure progress as we continue our efforts to effectively manage resources.  We’re here because we believe in what we do and we’re dedicated to our mission of helping people live better lives.”  


Phillips said some of this year’s initiatives will build on the progress made on last year’s priorities while others provide new opportunities for DHHS and ultimately, for those the agency serves.


The 20 initiatives are aimed at integrating services, promoting independence, focusing on prevention, leveraging technology, and increasing operating efficiencies.  Each goal will result in measurable improvements and continue a commitment by the agency to be accountable and transparent.  The initiatives include:


  • Integrating Services and Partnerships.  Working to create more efficient and effective ways to serve Nebraskans, DHHS is integrating services across DHHS and with stakeholders and partners.  The priority initiatives include:


  • Nebraska System of Care for Children, Youth and Families
  • Keeping Families Together
  • Beatrice State Development Center


  • Promoting Independence through Community-Based Services.  Built on the needs of DHHS’ varied customers, community-based services provide the supports within communities to help them maintain independence and flourish.  The priority initiatives include:


  • Medicaid Long-Term Care Services and Supports Redesign
  • Timely Access to Developmental Disability Services


  • Focusing on Prevention to Change Lives.  DHHS is investing in healthy behaviors, safety, and prevention to help Nebraskans achieve lifelong success and live better lives.  The priority initiatives include:


  • Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention and Prescription Drug Monitoring
  • Prevent and Reduce the Number of Children in Out-of-Home Placements
  • Expansion of Alternative Response


  • Leveraging Technology to Increase Effectiveness.  Using technology, DHHS will streamline processes; make information more accessible, timely, and customer focused; and effectively position the agency for the future as data needs change.  The priority initiatives include:


  • Nebraska Caregiver Responsibility Tool
  • Child and Adult Abuse/Neglect Central Registry
  • Behavioral Health Centralized Data and Electronic Billing Systems
  • Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards for the WIC Program
  • MMIS Replacement Project – Data Management Analytics and Claims Broker Services
  • Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment System


  • Increasing Operating Efficiencies and Improvements.  A strong base for DHHS is essential to have continued success.  DHHS will focus on improvements, efficiencies, and reduction in regulatory complexities to enhance quality and performance.  The priority initiatives are:


  • Maintain and Improve ACCESSNebraska’s Performance
  • Patient Admission and Discharge Flow at the Lincoln Regional Center
  • Developmental Disabilities Quality Management
  • Children’s Services Licensing and Community-based Agency Provider Certification
  • Reduce Single State Audit Findings
  • Streamlining Operational Improvements


Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts highlighted achievements from the past year made by DHHS as part of its first ever business plan, including:


  • Sustained reforms with ACCESSNebraska
  • Shorter application period for professional licenses
  • Coordinated Medicaid service delivery through Heritage Health
  • Transformed behavioral healthcare for children
  • Customer-friendly developmental disabilities services application


Ricketts said the DHHS successes can be attributed to a team dedicated to their mission, a commitment to excellence, and a focus on change and continuous improvement.  Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts applauded Phillips and the DHHS team for accomplishing over 93 percent of the 213 deliverables in last year’s plan. 


“This is great news and another example of the changes we are bringing to state government to improve services to help Nebraskans live better lives,” said Governor Ricketts.


A look back on the agency’s progress over the last year can be found by clicking here.


Gov. Ricketts, DHHS Release Second Annual Business Plan and Priority Initiatives