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MH/DS Commission - 2014 Legislative Priorities

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The Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) Commission is an eighteen-­‐member state policy-­‐making body that makes recommendations on services to persons with mental illness, intellectual disabilities or other developmental disabilities, or brain injury. They are asking the Iowa Legislature to take action on the following:

1. Provide funding for MH/DS services that is appropriate, predictable, and stable, including:

  • Suspending the 80% reversion of the projected savings regions will see because of the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, and allow those funds instead to remain in the regions for services.

  • Make sure provider reimbursement rates are adequate to preserve service stability for consumers, build community capacity, and strengthen the ability of safety net providers (including community mental health centers and substance abuse agencies) to grow and offer services that meet the complex needs of individuals served by the MHDS system.

  • Make all judicial mental health advocates state employees to improve consistency, supervision, and accountability; provide uniform training; and save taxpayer-­‐supported resources.

2.  Build workforce capacity by:

  • Requiring state and regional cost settlement reimbursement methodologies to designate the cost of training and education as a direct cost, allowable as a reimbursable expense.

  • Supporting the training of mental health Peer Support Specialists and Family Peer Support Specialists using nationally reviewed and accepted curricula and the increased utilization of Peer Support and Family Peer Support Specialists by providing flexibility for part-­‐time workers and opportunities for credentialing and advancement along a career path

  • Implementing incentive programs to train, recruit, and retain professionals and paraprofessionals qualified to deliver high quality mental health, substance abuse, and disability services.

Contact: Connie Fanseloww - 515-­‐725-­‐0131 - -­‐Commission.html