Governor Reynolds has signed 144 bills into law so far this legislative session. Since our last report two weeks ago, the Governor has signed another 88 bills into law, including:
  • MH Professional Corporations (HF 2300): Paves the way for psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and marital/family therapists to form corporations with each other (specifically LLCs or PCs), beginning July 1, 2018.

  • Behavior Analyst Licensure (SF 192): The Board of Behavioral Health will begin licensing behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts beginning January 1, 2019.

There are still a few bills out there that we are watching:
  • MCO Regulation (HF 2483): The House’s most recent attempt to address concerns heard about MCOs is again stalled, but plans now are to include these “protections” in the Health/Human Services budget bill. There is a work group to investigate and make recommendations on health homes (including standard performance measures and data collection, and alignment with state plan amendment), requires MCOs to pay bills on time and tell providers/members the reason services were denied, require IME to maintain timely eligibility databases, require full payment within 30 days if an MCO’s system is causing error interfering with proper payment, development of a standardized credentialing form and process, gives DHS Director the authority to determine how long services are extended when a member wins an appeal, requires court-ordered mental health or substance use disorder treatment to be authorized for at least three days before applying medical necessity criteria, and requires DHS to authorize and finalize level of care assessments for members needing long-term supports and services (and requires MCO to follow decision made).

  • Opioid Response (HF 2377): There is a lot in this bill - required use of prescription monitoring program (PMP), mandated e-prescribing of all schedule II and most of schedule III drugs by 2020 (with one-year hardship waiver allowed), annual prescriber activity reports, proactive notifications when someone is doctor-shopping, and a limited Good Samaritan law to encourage reporting of possible drug overdose. While the bill passed the House unanimously, Sen. Tom Greene (R-Burlington) has filed an amendment that would make the e-prescribing mandate apply to all schedules of controlled substances. That has caused problems with the House, and with some in the lobby, so the bill has stalled (at least temporarily). Rumor is it may end up in a budget bill if it cannot make it out of the Senate separately.
For those of you that were at the IPA conference, Dr. Don Damsteegt asked about association health plans. As reported in the last issue, the Governor signed the Farm Bureau insurance bill into law ( SF 2349 ). It allowed Farm Bureau to offer an individual non-ACA compliant repackaged Wellmark insurance plan to its members.

This legislation also included a change that amended “multiple employer welfare arrangements” in such a way to align them with new Department of Labor regulations, which actually paves the way for new association health plans that also do not have to comply with ACA mandates and would not be subject to state regulation. An association need only show that it has bylaws, and has membership stability (to be defined by the Insurance Commissioner). This was promoted by the Department of Labor’s new rules that widen access to association health plans, reclassifying them so they do not have to provide services like maternity care and mental health services. So Iowa will allow the sale of these association health plans that follow the new federal rules, beginning July 1, 2018 and the Insurance Commissioner is given the authority to adopt emergency rules.

Check out the status of the bill tracked for IPA here .
The default page shows you only the bills still alive.
To see bills that didn’t make the funnel, switch the list to “inactive."
You can export either list to an excel sheet for your own use/tracking.
Make sure to check back frequently; we’ll update the status of these bills frequently.