2019 Legislature Update

May 09, 2019

The 88th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature convened for the last time on April 27, 2019. Many of us will reminisce on the 2019 legislative session as one to remember; Iowa’s medical marijuana program was expanded, the Governor has new parameters when choosing an Iowa Supreme Court Justice, the longest-serving Republican switched parties, and much more. Although the close of the session can be turbulent because of last-minute bills and ambitious tactics to get bills passed, there are a few bills that would advance both the reach and effectiveness of community health centers.

 1. HF 732: 2019 Medical Cannabidiol
     Cannabidiol (CBD) products for Iowans who have been prescribed by a healthcare practitioner no longer have a THC limit. More and more Iowans will
     have access to CBD products as autism and other medical conditions have been added to the list of qualifying patients.

 2. HF 623: Medication-Assisted Treatment—Medicaid Prior Authorization
    Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law the removal of prior authorizations for Methadone, Buprenorphine, Naloxone, Buprenorphine/naloxone
    combo, and Naltrexone. All these drugs are approved medications for the treatment of substance use disorders. The removal of prior authorization
    furthers Iowa’s objectives on mental health and substance abuse disorders.

 3. HF 690: Mental Health and Disability Services
     With this bill, Iowa has made children’s behavioral health as a priority in mental health medical services provided by the state. With the establishment
     of a children’ behavioral health system and a children’s behavioral health system state board, access is expanded to endeavor to provide mental health
     services to all Iowans who need it.

 4. HF 532: Physician Workforce
     University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are prioritizing Iowa residents and graduates when awarding Federal residencies. These residents are
     now given the option to participate in rural rotations to educate and encourage residents about the community health centers and rural health
     centers in the state of Iowa.

 5. HF 691: Funding County Mental Health and Disability Services
     By modifying the rules and regulations of excess cash flow and adding retroactive provisions, MH/DS region counties can keep an ending balance up
     to 40% until 2023.

 6. HF 423: Suspension of Medicaid Coverage for Inmates
     After 30 days of incarceration, an inmate Medicaid coverage will be suspended and immediately available for use after their release.

HF623, HF690, HF532, and HF423 were all signed by Governor Kim Reynolds on May 1, 2019. Each of these bills opens the door to a more inclusive and effective healthcare system. As this session has come to a close, we are looking forward to working together with policymakers in the coming years to ensure support of community health centers and the patients we serve.