Under the Golden Dome
The biggest news this week is the release of the governor’s 1,500+ page government reorganization bill. Much of the bill includes the code changes to merge the department of public health with the department of human services, now renamed as the department of health and human services.
The bill moves all of the licensure boards from DPH to the expanded Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) but doesn’t change the function or makeup of the boards. However, the bill does create a boards and commissions review committee to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of each board and commission established by statute.
Bills of Interest
HSB 74/SSB 1050: These bills eliminate the age limit and maximum coverage for behavioral analysis treatment for autism for both medicaid and private insurers. Current law does not allow such coverage beyond the age of 21 and limits the total amount of coverage to no more than $36,000. IMHCA is registered in support of the bills.
HSB 76/SF 210: These bills authorize the use of the term “brain health” and “brain illness” to be used synonymously with mental health, mental illness and behavioral health but does not impact any licensure, reimbursement or scope of practice. IMHCA is registered as undecided on both bills. SF 210 was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HF 8: This bill prohibits schools from providing instruction in gender identity and sexual orientation to students in kindergarten through third grade. IMHCA is registered opposed to the bill.
HF 19: This bill would limit eligibility for the mental health loan repayment program to only those mental health counselors, social workers or marriage and family therapists who work for a community based mental health provider or agency. IMHCA is registered opposed to the bill as it would narrow the breadth of the program.
HF 93/SSB 1106: This bill prohibits non-compete clauses for any mental health professional as defined in 228.1, including mental health counselors. HF 93 passed the House 95-0. IMHCA is registered in support of both bills.
HF 151: This bill strikes the code language for the newly created mental health professional loan repayment program for mental health counselors, mental health social workers, psychologists and marriage and family therapists. It creates a new mental health practitioner loan repayment program that includes all mental health professionals as defined in 228.1, including nurses, PAs and psychiatrists. It also provides for a $1.5 million appropriation. The current program for mental health counselors is funded at $520,000. The bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. IMHCA is registered undecided.
HF 180: This bill prohibits schools from facilitating any accommodation to affirm a student’s gender identity if it is different from the student’s sex listed at birth unless the parent or guardian consents to these accommodations. IMHCA is registered opposed to the bill. The bill passed the House Education Committee.
SSB 1024/HSB9: These bills clarify that payments made to successful applicants under the mental health loan repayment program are annual payments made at the conclusion of each calendar year that the person fulfills the program requirements. IMHCA was successful in creating this program and is registered in support of this technical clarification.
SSB 1045: This bill would add occupational therapists who have either worked or completed completed supervised clinical experience in a psychiatric setting to the definition of mental health providers in 228.1. IMHCA is registered opposed to this bill.
SF 83: This bill prohibits schools from using any curriculum that includes instruction on gender identity. IMHCA is registered opposed to the bill.
SF 127/HF 90: This bill adopts the national counseling compact legislation, allowing Iowa’s entry into this compact. The compact authorizes both in-person and telehealth practice by licensed individuals in other member states of the compact. SF 127 was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. IMHCA is registered in support of both bills.