Hello and welcome to the first legislative update! We will have weekly updates throughout the legislative session. First day back was Monday, January 11, 2021. It has been a busy week.
We will start with the Governor’s budget highlights and a review of the Governor’s condition of state given on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. There was language for mental health items as well as information specific to telehealth.
The link to the whole bill is here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/publications/fiscal/budgetAnalysis
Here are some of the highlights:
Here is the language from the speech on MH and telehealth
Like this past year, when we watched healthcare in Iowa transform from a collection of competing hospitals and clinics to a single statewide healthcare system committed to collaborating for the sake of all Iowans.
As we move forward, let’s build on this collaborative and innovative spirit. In my budget, I’m proposing $1 million to encourage hospitals and clinics to start what’s called a Center of Excellence. It’s a program that aligns rural physicians with specialists, creating regional hubs that provide highly-skilled care closer to where patients and their primary-care providers live.
Whether you’re dealing with the trauma of an accident or the joy of childbirth, it’s not just the quality of the team that matters—it’s the proximity. I want a better system of care for all Iowans, regardless of where they live.
I also want to be sure that when Iowans call 911 for an emergency, there’s a quick response. I know members in this chamber are already working on a bill to improve rural EMS services; I look forward to working with you this session.
We must also continue our focus on mental health. While the virus threatened our physical wellbeing, the realities of last year placed unimaginable stress on so many Iowans. Seniors were isolated from friends and loved ones; kids were kept out of the classroom and away from the stability it provides; and thousands of Iowans had their livelihoods turned upside down.
In the last three years, we have reformed our mental health system and we’re continuing to make it better. I’m proposing to increase mental health funding by $15 million this year, and another $15 million next year, to fully fund those reform efforts. And I know that our mental health regions are working on innovative solutions to address the unique needs of children who have been affected by the pandemic.
And because of the legislation we passed last year, which allows schools to host behavioral health sessions by using telehealth services, kids no longer have to leave school for hours to receive quality treatment.
That’s a lesson many of us learned over the last ten months: telehealth is a powerful tool that we should continue to encourage and expand. And it’s not just for mental health. Thousands of Iowans experienced it first-hand this year, receiving treatment and check-ups from their own home.
Here is the bill watch list for the week:
|Bills & Rules Watch|
|Generated Date:||01/14/2021 01:41 PM|
|Music Therapists-UNDECIDED||HSB 61||A bill for an act relating to professional standards for the certification or designation of music therapists and providing penalties.|
|Bed Tracking-Undecided-no one has registered||HF 54||A bill for an act relating to the inpatient psychiatric bed tracking system.|
|Psychology interjurisdictional-undecided||SF 78||A bill for an act adopting the psychology interjurisdictional compact.|
|Music Therapists-UNDECIDED||SF 9||A bill for an act relating to professional standards for the certification or designation of music therapists and providing penalties.|
|Certificate of need-undecided. Broadlawns is undecided||SF 4||A bill for an act relating to the elimination of the certificate of need process relating to the development of a new or changed institutional health service.|
Renee Schulte, LMHC Consultant