Under the Golden Dome
Despite most of the attention on school choice, there has been action on other items important to IMHCA members this week. Most notably, two of our priorities advance. HF 93, which bans noncompete contracts for mental health providers, unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. And, SSB 1012, authorizing Iowa’s entry into the national counseling compact passed out of subcommittee. Other legislation is moving slowly as the legislature focuses on passing the governor’s school choice bill.
You can help us advance this agenda by participating in IMHCA’s Day on the Hill scheduled for February 21. Don’t miss this opportunity to join others in the profession in promoting mental health services in Iowa.
Your Action Is Needed
HF 93, a bill to ban non-compete agreements for mental health providers, could come to the floor as early as the week of January 30. Please take a few minutes to reach out to your senator and representative to encourage them to support HF 93. You can find your legislator and their contact information here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
Here are some key points to make with your legislators:
Bills of Interest
HF 93: This bill prohibits non-compete clauses for any mental health professional as defined in 228.1, including mental health counselors. The bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee with an amendment to include psychiatrists and those under temporary licensure. IMHCA was instrumental in drafting this bill and getting it introduced and is registered in support of the bill.
HSB 9: 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. IMHCA is registered undecided.
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.
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 9: 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.
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.
SSB 1012: 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 and was approved by a Senate subcommittee this week. IMHCA is registered in support of the bill.
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 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.