Children’s Mental Health: During the 2018 legislative session, Republicans and Democrats worked together to pass a landmark mental health bill. This critical legislation filled many of the gaps in Iowa’s community-based mental health system and improved access to care. This session, legislators continued to press forward and made mental health a priority by focusing its attention on developing the framework of a children’s mental health system. This bipartisan plan ensures that parents have a dedicated, local resource to turn to when they need to find mental health treatment for their child.
Medicaid Sustainability: House Republicans continue to closely monitor Iowa’s managed care program to ensure that patients get the services they need and providers are being paid for their work. Included in the HHS budget is additional funding to right-size the program with rates based on 3 years of experience as well as a number of provisions that streamline the claims process and hold MCOs accountable to members and providers.
Prescription Drug Transparency: House Republicans also addressed the high cost of prescription drugs by requiring more transparency from Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). These entities often serve as the “middleman” between doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies, but provide very little information about their business practices. This bipartisan legislation will bring some much-needed sunshine to the issue of health care costs and prescription drugs which will serve consumers well.
Health Care Workforce: Across the state, many Iowa communities lack an adequate number of health care providers. This session, House Republicans made it a priority to beef up Iowa’s health care workforce by training more providers and increase access to care. Legislation passed this session requires taxpayer-funded medical residency programs to give priority to applicants with an Iowa connection and provide an opportunity to participate in a rural rotation to expose those physicians to our rural areas. Additionally, the budget includes funding to create additional rural psychiatric residencies and increase the number mental health providers.