Democratic Caucus Accommodation Requests Due January 27
Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses are just a few weeks away and both political parties have been working hard to make sure these caucuses are the... Read More...
JOIN US! Monthly Advocacy Calls
This year, we will be hosting monthly call-ins to give advocates with disabilities a chance to ask questions about the issues being discussed at the... Read More...
Updated 2020 Caucus Materials Available!
Never been to a caucus? Don't know what to expect? Want to know more?  Our user-friendly guide and resources can help you get ready and be prepared... Read More...
New Senate Human Resources Committee Chair
Iowa Senate Republicans announced a new Chair of the Senate Human Resources Committee, which addresses issues like disability services, health care,... Read More...
Iowa DD Council 2019 Priorities
The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, which sponsors infoNET, has released their 2019 State Legislative Priorities.  Top on their list is... Read More...

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Iowa's privacy laws on the exchange of mental health records are among the most strict in the country.  With new federal laws in place, most states have moved to align their state laws with federal law (HIPAA, which stands for the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act).   Our neighbors Wisconsin and Ilinois were among the most recent to make the change.  

Before session, health providers and mental health advocates got together to work on a bill that would revise Iowa's mental health information privacy laws to make sure a person's health care providers could exchange mental health information between each other in order to coordinate care.  So things like what medications a person is on, or their treatment plan and diagnosis.  By federal law, the provider is only allowed to disclose the "minimum necessary amount needed" for patient care coordination.  So things in a patient's psychotherapy notes would never be exchanged unless the patient okays it in writing.

At an early meeting, mental health advocates said this was important for patient safety, so a provider knows all the medications a person is taking so they can avoid potentially dangerous interactions.  Earlier this year, the Senate passed Senate File 2144 with only one legislator voting no (Sen. Jake Chapman of Adel).  This week, the House passed the bill unaimously (96-0).  The bill is now on its way to the Governor's office.