ACTION ITEM: Contact your senator and encourage them to act on one of these important pieces of legislation. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
i. Increased staffing for DHS –
ii. Increased provider rates – This bill includes increases in rates for Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and Psychiatric Medical Institutions for Children (PMIC).
iii. Telehealth parity is included – for behavioral health services
iv. Income eligibility for SNAP benefits is NOT included
v. Removed language for “public assistance oversight” that was unnecessary and restrictive in nature. These are in the Senate bill and they have the potential to take health care away from Iowans and increase administrative costs to the state, as it is not outlined in the bill how this will be managed or paid for.
An increase in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) funding was removed from the bill through amendments and various versions of legislation.
i. Joel Fry: firstname.lastname@example.org
ii. Ann Meyer: email@example.com
Nebraska Adopts Behavioral Health Telehealth Parity. Why Can’t Iowa?
A significant expansion of telehealth during the pandemic has allowed tens of thousands of Iowans to maintain treatment, especially in rural areas of the state with a critical lack of mental health clinicians. It has made a real difference for both patients and providers.
The Iowa House has twice voted overwhelmingly to support requiring private insurers to reimburse the same for telehealth as they do for in-person visits for behavioral health care. This week Nebraska Republican Governor Pete Ricketts signed a bill into law requiring the same thing. If Nebraska can do it, why can’t we?
ADVOCACY ACTION: We must have patient and family member voices heard! The House clearly supports this position, so we must concentrate on the Senate. Contact your senator and Senate President Jack Whitver (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell them you value telehealth and believe it should be reimbursed the same as in-person visits. Ask that it be brought to a vote in the Senate. We feel confident that if it is, it will pass, and Iowans’ access to care will be preserved.
|Bills & Rules Watch|
|Healthcare recruitment – undecided – sent to Governor||HF 196||A bill for an act expanding the health care professional recruitment program. (Formerly HF 5.) Effective date: 07/01/2021|
|Audio only telehealth- support- alive – senate committee passed – unfinished biz calendar||HF 431||A bill for an act relating to the provision of audio-only telehealth or telemedicine by health care professionals.(Formerly HF 88.)|
|House HHS approps- support||HF 891||A bill for an act relating to appropriations for health and human services and veterans and including other related provisions and appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date and retroactive and other applicability date provisions.|
|felon voting rights- support – fiscal note https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/FN/1215310.pdf||HJR 11||A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to the qualifications of electors.(Formerly HSB 143.)|
|rental housing – opposed. House amended and passed Senate bill. senate concurred. sent to governor||SF 252||A bill for an act relating to the authority of counties and cities to regulate rental housing, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 1079.)|
|Monies for specialty courts – support – amended in House in sub committee – to be done next week per Rep Hein||SF 363||A bill for an act relating to the regulation of certain tobacco products, and providing penalties. (Formerly SF 226, SF 43.)|
|voting members of regions – oppose – unfinished biz||SF 461||A bill for an act relating to the voting members of a governing board of a mental health and disability services region.(Formerly SSB 1158.)|
|New BH telehealth parity bill and bed tracking study- support – amended in House fiscal note https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/FN/1219694.pdf||SF 524||A bill for an act establishing an inpatient psychiatric bed tracking system study committee.(Formerly SSB 1227.)|
|trusts for persons with disabilities – support -amended sent to gov||SF 527||A bill for an act relating to trusts for persons with disabilities.(Formerly SSB 1228, SF 60.)|
|Senate MH Tax bill – support Division 1 – alive – amended and passed senate – fiscal note. in house ways and means||SF 587||A bill for an act relating to state and local government financing, programs, and operations, by modifying provisions relating to mental health and disability services funding, school district funding, commercial and industrial property tax replacement payments, and other specified tax provisions, making appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date and applicability provisions. (Formerly SSB 1253.)|
|Senate HHS bill – Undecided – registered opposed to Division 13 eligibiltiy verification.||SF 606||A bill for an act relating to appropriations for health and human services and veterans and including other related provisions and appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date and retroactive and other applicability date provisions.(Formerly SSB 1267.)|
|Block grant bill – undecided||SF 614||A bill for an act appropriating federal moneys made available from federal block grants and other nonstate sources, allocating portions of federal block grants, and providing procedures if federal moneys or federal block grants are more or less than anticipated, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.(Formerly SSB 1257.)|
|Governor’s HHS budget bill – undecided – Senate will start the HHS final budget||SSB 1266||A bill for an act relating to appropriations for health and human services and veterans and including other related provisions and appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date provisions.|