Wow! What an ending!! The legislature was hard at work into the late hours this weekend and the session after they returned from a pandemic break was rapid! Multiple mental health and licensure bills were amended and discussed. Here is a summary of what has been done. Much thanks to Renee Schulte, our IMHCA Lobbyist for all her work this year:
IMHCA End of Session update
Full session wrap up to come
Despite a global pandemic that reduced state revenue by $360 million and forced a status quo budget, the Legislature was able to find $5 million to pay for mental health services in Polk County.
Telehealth – The insurance carriers agreed to cover telehealth at the same rate as in-person care through the end of February, 2021. This decision allows telehealth to remain in code same as face to face. And gives providers and insurers time to gather data to determine if telehealth raises costs or if it saves funding in ER visits and crisis. Reminder: telehealth includes all medical not just mental health which makes data more critical.
Budget bill HF 2643 https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=HF2643
Pg 11 Rural psychiatric residencies $400,000
Pg 21 Emergency rules allowed for MHDS commission to comply with federal requirements
Pg 23 Division IX Mental health and Disability Services
Values Fund in Chapter 15G
Polk will be getting $5 million from the Values fund in addition to the transfer authority. There will need to be a Memo of understanding between the Department and the region before funds will be given.
Sec. 55. MENTAL HEALTH AND DISABILITY SERVICES REGIONS —— FUNDING.
1. There is appropriated from the grow Iowa values fund created in section 15G.108, Code 2009, to the department of human services for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2021, the following amount, or so much thereof as is necessary, to be used for the purpose designated:
For a grant to a single-county mental health and disability services region with a population of over 350,000 as determined by the latest federal decennial census, for the provision of mental health and disability services within the region:
……………………………………………………………. $ 5,000,000
The department and the region shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the use of the moneys and detailing the provisions of the plan prior to the region’s receipt of moneys under this subsection.
2. The department shall distribute moneys appropriated in this section within 60 days of the date of signing of the memorandum of understanding between the department and each region.
3. Moneys awarded under this section shall be used by the regions consistent with each region’s service system management plan as approved by the department.
Licensing Bill – HF 2627 https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=H8250
Classroom management SF 2360
Amended to remove the corporal punishment pieces and other problematic pieces as it passed.
Telehealth in school SF 2261
Passed and sent to Governor
Medicaid oversight – work/reproting requirement SF 2272, SF 2366
Did not pass
Voting rights – SF 2348
Signed by Governor 6/4
Housing Bill SF 2368
Did not pass