Legislative News January 2016

Legislative news – 01/26/2016

January 24, 2016

Under the Golden Dome

The second session of the two-year legislative cycle is largely focused on quickly resolving school funding for the next fiscal year. The resolution of this issue is critical to determining the other parts of the state’s budget. Committees are beginning their work to move legislation forward in anticipation of the first legislative funnel deadline, February 19. By this time, a bill must have passed a committee in one chamber to remain alive. This deadline does not apply to budget or tax bills.

The Governor’s budget for FY 2017 recommends $1.3 billion budget for Medicaid, a $23.4 million increase over FY 2016’s estimated costs. This includes a supplemental of approximately $40 million for FY 2016 to fully cover all costs. The delay in the implementation of Medicaid managed care is reducing the amount of “savings” that were projected for the current fiscal year. The legislature based the FY 2016 budget on a $51 million savings from the move to managed care. However, that number is continually being reduced as implementation is delayed.

Medicaid Managed Care Update

At this point, the program is scheduled to be implemented beginning March 1. Wellcare has had its contract cancelled by the state, leaving three remaining companies. While the delay has not negatively impacted reimbursements for physical health claims, it is causing sizable problems for behavioral health claims. Legislators appear to be more focused on the “bigger picture” and lost in that is the impact that the lack of reimbursements have on those who serve patients.

We need to shift the focus on this so that legislators help us “push” DHS and IME to resolve this problem quickly. Please consider sending an email to your House and Senate members. Make these key points in your email:

1. Identify yourself as a constituent and mental health provider in the subject line of the email.

2. Outline the problems and delays you have experienced in receiving reimbursement from IME.

3. Outline what impact this could have on your ability to continue serving clients on Medicaid and on your business as a whole.

4. Ask that your legislator raise this issue with IME and push for a quicker response time with respect to reimbursement.

To find your legislators by using your address, use this link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find

Bills of Interest

HSB 502: This bill would require coverage for telehealth services (distinct from coverage of telemedicine) for employees on the state’s health insurance. Telehealth may include situations in which there is a cost incurred for the service but does not involve direct care of a patient by a medical provider. IMHCA is registered in support of this bill which is in the House Human Resources Committee.

SF 2032: This bill creates a process to allow mental health providers to more easily share mental health records with other providers. The goal is to more easily allow access by physical health providers of these records when treating patients. HIPPA protections are maintained. IMHCA is registered in support of this bill which is in the Senate Human Resources Committee.

Emily Piper

Piper Consulting Services

PO Box 12011

Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Submitted by: 

Emily Piper | [email protected]

Piper Consulting Services

P.O. Box 12011 | Des Moines, Iowa 50312-2011

Phone: 515-202-7772 | Fax: 866-869-2842