Frequently Asked Questions

Immediate appointments available. Call now (402) 434-2730 to schedule appointment with one of our licensed counselors, psychologists, APRNs or physicians.

Where exactly are you located?

300 South 68th Street Place, Suite # 500 Lincoln, Nebraska 68510-2475

First Step is conveniently located three blocks South of 68th & O Street across from the Southeast Community College Administrative Offices and the Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center. Turn South on 68th Street from O Street (between ShopKo and Best Buy) then go three blocks turning left at the flag pole.WP_20130823_007 (1024x612) (1024x612) First Step is located on the entire fifth floor so as you step off the elevator on floor 5 you are actually in our lobby.  We ask the individuals and families that we serve to park on the East side of the building and enter from that same side on floor one then take the elevator up to floor 5 unless you require use of the handicapped accessible parking stalls and door, then you may enter on either side of the building.

 How much is an evaluation? What are the costs of other services at First Step?

change-management1The cost for an evaluation for both adults and adolescents depends on the type of insurance, network rates and obligations, and your individual insurance type and plan details. Some individuals have a fixed copay for office visits and others still have a deductible to meet or other plan details that require they pay a specific amount. Individuals do have the option to not use their commercial insurance and utilize First Step’s generous sliding fee scale if they wish. However, First Step will not go back and bill your insurance at a later date if this is your choice. The sliding fee scale is ideal for private paying or low income individuals. At First Step we recognize that many people do not use their insurance regularly and possibly have a high deductible or other “catastrophe plan” type of insurance. In these scenarios, we understand it may not make sense to utilize your insurance plan so the sliding fee scale may be a better fit for you. First Step staff will gladly inform you of all costs associated with care at our facility prior to actually receiving services as well as provide options for you to choose from in regards to payment.

How much are Alcohol & Drug Education Classes?

First Step offers alcohol & drug education classes for both adolescents & adults. Alcohol & drug education costs $45.00 per class and is offered in 3 hour increments. Typically for Nebraska A/D Education requirements are 10 -15 hours, however we offer this program in 3 hour increments because many individuals are from out of state or have legal charges outside of Nebraska which require up to 24 hours of education depending on the state. We guarantee that the program we offer and the change based curriculum we utilize for this ASAM 0.5 Level of Care is accepted nationwide. We offer a money back guarantee if the state requiring you to complete an education class does not honor completion of our program.

Is First Step an active participating member of the Better Business Bureau?

 12581259Yes! First Step has been an active accredited business with the BBB since September of 2004. The BBB has determined that First Step meets BBB accreditation standards, which includes a commitment to make good faith efforts to resolve any consumer complaints. First Step takes great pride in maintaining our A+ rating with the BBB therefore, we will go the extra mile to ensure excellent care and support.

What is the difference between the alcohol & drug education class and the Nebraska Impaired Driving Program?

NIDPFirst Step offers the Nebraska Impaired Driving Program at our facility which replaces the ASAM 0.5 Level of Care (same as alcohol and drug education) for DUI or DWI offenders. The issue exists where 48 out of 50 states have a standardized curriculum or program that specifically focuses on Impaired Driving. Nebraska and Utah are the only states who do not have a standardized DUI program or "DUI School". This program is approved for DUI offenders nationwide and can help individuals change their impaired driving behavior.

Many programs in our area advertise that they are a “comparable” program that is accepted by other states however we have seen firsthand this is not always true. First Step guarantees that this program meets the comparable program completion requirement required by other states. We will give you a full refund if the state your offense occurred in does not honor the NIDP completion certificate.

This program costs $225 and is a 10 hour course specifically designed for impaired drivers both presentence and post-conviction. This program does not require the participant to be a DUI offender, instead it offers the flexibility of accepting youth with concerned parents, employers with concerns about a possibly impaired employee, and individuals who know they may drink and drive or use other substances and drive too often and they see an arrest looming in their future. You do not have to be a DUI offender to participate in the NIDP program, however all DUI offenders are encouraged to participate to avoid future impaired driving arrests.

What are my payment options? What insurances does First Step accept?

We have several providers in network with multiple carriers and most carriers do offer some sort of out of network benefit if the carrier has no providers in the area. The actual insurance carrier and plan type will dictate the cost of services depending on the in or out of network status and individual plan details such as deductible, copay/coinsurance, and out of pocket cost. Our professional billing specialists will be happy to gather your eligibility and benefits information for you and provide a full explanation of benefits prior to any services being provided.

First Step is a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and United Behavioral Health (UBH/UHC) however we do accept most commercial insurances, Medicaid, Medicare, Probation vouchers, and of course self pay. We accept cash, personal & business checks, and all major credit cards. First Step has a generous sliding fee scale with low weekly, biweekly or monthly payment plans available to individuals receiving services. We ask that you make required co-payments or terms payments at the time of service.

What if the weather is bad? Do I still come to my appointment? Does First Step still have groups?

Please note that if Lincoln Public Schools is closed due to weather First Step will not be having groups that day. We encourage you to call our office at (402) 434-2730 to verify if we are open prior to coming out in inclement weather. Our voicemail will reflect our closing status if we are closed otherwise a staff member will be able to provide information that day. In the event of a closing, First Step will also attempt to post notice on the website

In the event of bad weather, First Step will make a decision on closing as follows:

  • Adolescent Programs: decision will be made by 2:00 p.m.
  • Daytime Adult Programs: decision will be made by 8:00 a.m.
  • Evening Adult Programs: decision will be made by 5:00 p.m.

What if I cannot make it to my appointment that day? What should I do?

If you cannot make it to your appointment as scheduled we ask that you extend us the courtesy of providing 24 hour notice. We have several patients with acute issues that could have potentially utilized that appointment time that was designated for you and with your notice of cancellation or rescheduling you provided them the opportunity to be seen. If you do not give 24 hour notice that you will miss a scheduled appointment you may be charged a no show fee which is usually equal to the cost of the actual appointment. This is based on First Step policy and provider discretion. We understand that life happens so extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration, however you must call our office prior to your appointment for this to be a sufficient cancellation or reschedule circumstance.

What do I need to bring with me for my first visit to First Step?

On your initial visit to our agency we ask that you bring your insurance card, any paperwork or referral information from your physician or attorney etc., and your payment for your appointment that day. If you will be utilizing our sliding fee schedule we ask that you bring a recent paycheck stub or other proof of income or financial hardship so that we may give you the best price possible. Also, if you are seeing someone at First Step for medications you must provide proof of income if you are private pay and wish to utilize the copay assistance or reduced fee programs many pharmaceutical companies offer as we need this to complete the application to determine your eligibility.

Does First Step do drug testing? 

Absolutely – we do drug testing for new and existing patients. We also have a direct relationship with several nationally recognized laboratories for drug and alcohol testing confirmation. First Step has arrangements with several academic institutions and employers in the area to provide drug testing services. Our staff are professionally trained and capable of meeting any need in this area. If you are from out of state and are required to do drug testing, you are referred by your employer following an accident or other disciplinary action, or you are a concerned parent with a child who you suspect is using First Step is available anytime to provide drug testing and laboratory services.

Drug testing is not covered by insurance therefore this service is provided on a self pay basis only, however if you have the choice of the cheap at home drug test kit you can get at Walgreens or a reputable agency with laboratory confirmation please choose First Step. Surprisingly, our cost is often less than the expensive drug testing kits sold at retail stores. We will also provide drug tests to take home for use at your discretion at a reduced cost for existing patients, ideal for parents with youth in the home they suspect of using. The current cost of drug testing at our facility is $45 which includes the collection and analysis with instant results and documentation by a trained professional.

The substances we test for in the office are cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, methamphetamine, marijuana, and alcohol. With the recent surge of illicit synthetic drug use we do also offer testing for K2 (also known as "potpourri" or "spice") and Mephedrone (also known as "bath salts" or "charge") however the instant tests for these are not as accurate as the other substances due to their relatively new presence in the drug world so we require these substances to be confirmed by the laboratory to ensure accuracy. Lab results are usually to our office within 4-7 days. The fee for laboratory confirmation is an additional $45. The lab confirmation provides a solid scientific foundation to truly know if you are drug free or if a loved one has indeed been using illicit substances.

If I am in crisis can I just come in? What about a loved one, can we just stop by without an appointment in a crisis situation?

distressAbsolutely! First Step prides itself on having an open door policy, and this is never truer than in the midst of a crisis. Obviously, if it is a medical crisis we encourage you to go directly to the emergency room or call 911, however our doors are open during business hours from 8a-6:30p Monday through Friday and someone is usually available at a moment’s notice. We prefer that you schedule an appointment and follow through with the normal procedures and practices, but if you are experiencing a true crisis just come to the office and someone will be available to help you. We know the need in the community and there is no such thing as a lack of resources at our agency. We admire your strength for reaching out, we will make sure your needs are met so that you are safe.