2018 Issue #3
Issue 3, 2/19/2018
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Articles in This Issue:
- FIRST FUNNEL WEEK ENDS, FLOOR WORK AHEAD
- WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAID MEMBERS ADVANCES
- INTEGRATED HEALTH HOME DIRECTIVE SURVIVES
- INSIDE LOOK AT LAWMAKING
- HEARD (& SEEN) AROUND THE CAPITOL
- BUDGET NEWS: Current Year Cuts Still Up in the Air
- ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Revenues Looking Up
- ON THE OTHER SIDE: Governor Rolls Out Her Tax Plan
- BILL TRACKER
- PLAN A CAPITOL DAY NOW!
- PUBLIC FORUMS
- GET THIS ISSUE IN PDF
FIRST FUNNEL WEEK ENDS, FLOOR WORK AHEAD
- Eliminating the Department of Public Health.
- Transferring mental health and disability services to the Department of Public Health.
- Ending Medicaid managed care (MCO) contracts.
- Pulling long term supports and services (LTSS) out of MCO contracts.
- Establishing an MCO appeals process for supports intensity scale (SIS) scores.
- Various measures that “get tough on MCOs."
- Creating a home modification grant program for individuals with disabilities and older Iowans.
- Mandating insurance coverage of pediatric hearing aides.
- Requiring schools provide parents of children with hearing impairments with language and literacy milestones.
- Directing telecoil hearing assistance device manufacturers give users detailed information about the device.
- Making it a crime to mistreat or harm a service animal.
- Making it a crime for a college employee to sexually exploit an adult student with a disability.
- Requiring kids riding bikes wear helmets.
- Creating a central database of direct caregivers, including experience and certification.
- Increasing in the tobacco tax, including taxes on e-cigarettes (but this could be revived since it involves a tax).
- Increasing the smoking age to 21.
- Requiring insurers offer no-deductible prescription copay options.
- Requiring recipients of public assistance to work, go to school, or look for work (more on this in next article).
- Protecting integrated health homes by prohibiting MCOs from taking them over and slowing the process down.
- Making it a crime for someone to misrepresent themselves an owner or trainer of an assistive animal.
- Allowing landlords to ban service animals if a person cannot show need and proof of proper training.
- Enacting recommendations of the state’s Complex Needs (MH/DS) work group.
- Requiring acuity-based updates and use of the psychiatric bed tracking system.
- Requiring school districts integrate annual, evidence-based suicide prevention training.
- Making change to Iowa’s prescription monitoring program to address opioid abuse.
- Prohibiting insurers from switching a person's medications if they are doing well on them.
- Allowing Medical Board to raise cannabidiol THC limit and add treatable conditions to list.
- Directing the Board of Behavioral Science to license behavior analysts & assistants.
- Directing a study of mandatory reporter training and certification (including dependent adult abuse).
- Requiring DHS to figure out what to do about housing aging sex offenders.
- Changing the name of the state's "Substitute Decision Maker" to the "Public Guardian."
- Requiring insurers pay for services delivered via telehealth.
- Allowing Farm Bureau to offer individual non-ACA compliant health plans.
WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAID MEMBERS ADVANCES
Earlier this month, Governor Kim Reynolds said she would be open to work requirements for people receiving Medicaid. That set the stage for a last-minute addition to the House Human Resources Committee. House Study Bill 666 was introduced last Tuesday, had a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, and was voted out of committee on Thursday.
The bill requires anyone getting public assistance (such as Medicaid or food stamps) to have a job, be looking for a job, volunteer, or go to school at least 20 hours per week. There are a few exceptions - for those who are pregnant, deemed "unfit for employment," those under 19 or over 64, people caring for an infant (under one year), parents caring for a dependent child with a disability or serious medical condition, those receiving unemployment compensation and meeting the requirements of that program, and those participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program.
As you can see from the chart, 86% of Iowans receiving Medicaid are working or in a family with at least one parent working (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2017). This is obviously a very controversial issue - it does not address access to transportation, resource limitations, access to appropriate adapative technology or personal assistance, job opportunities in rural areas, and employer attitudes and biases in hiring. Rep. Steven Holt of Denison will lead the debate on the bill. If you have opinions about this issue, now is the time to share them with Rep. Holt and with your own State Representatives. Click here to get started.
INTEGRATED HEALTH HOME DIRECTIVE SURVIVES
There were at least six bills introduced this year dealing with integrated health homes, the intensive care coordination program for Iowans with serious and persistent mental illness or complex mental health and disability services needs.
Integrated health homes (IHHs) were first developed by Iowa's former managed care company, Magellan. Magellan spent months (years even) working with providers to develop the program and give technical assistance to local providers. In December, the United MCO made the sudden decision to pull these programs in-house, with no notice and no explanation.
Since that time the IHH community has been in an uproar, demanding legislators take action. Legislators from both partiies, and in both chambers, have put pressure on DHS and the MCOs to figure out a course of action. Here's where we are at post-funnel with this issue:
- Iowa's Medicaid Director (Mike Randol) has "paused" all action on health homes and will bring MCOs and providers together to discuss the futre of the program, look at data collected, discuss improvements, identify corrective courses of action if needed, and outline alternative paths if needed. He has said this review should take about six months, but added MCOs have the right and ability in their contracts to change the health home program.
- Not all legislators were satisfied with this "pause" and fear changes will occur when the session is adjourned, and they will have not ability to stop any further action. Sen. Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa is leading debate on a bill (SF 2284) that requires DHS submit a report on the health home review to legislators by October 1, 2018, and allows changes only through rule (which takes an average of 6-9 months and must go through the Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee before being enacted). The bill also prohibits MCOs from doing the care coordination in-house, and requires they run the program as required in the state plan amendment in place as of July 1, 2017.
- Providers say this may all be a little too late - they are losing IHH staff and at least one integrated health home in NW Iowa has closed their doors rather than wait out the program's slow demise.
We will continue to watch the progress of this issue, but if this is something important to you, contact your legislators while there is still an opportunity to keep this issue alive!
INSIDE LOOK AT LAWMAKING
State Representative Ashley Hinson of Marion may be new to the Iowa Legislature, but she is definitely not new to the camera. Prior to being elected in 2017, Rep. Hinson was an award-winning news anchor, reporter, and producer at KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids.
Rep. Hinson recently combined those skills and made a fantastic video showing Iowans "how a bill becomes a law."
HEARD (& SEEN) AROUND THE CAPITOL
Rumor has it that the Legislature will find savings in the current year by cutting their session short. Legislative leaders are considering shortening the session to 85 days in order to save money. That means legislators would lose their expense checks beginning April 2 (although they could keep working without pay until things get done). That's just a little over a month away, with a lot of work to be done between now and then. No action has been taken on this - its just a rumor at this point.
The new update of the INFONET Guide to the Iowa Legislature made appearances around the Capitol last week, showing up at an MCO table during Insurance Day at the Capitol, and in a doorkeeper's bag. Who knows where we'll find it next! Hopefully you've found yours in your mailboxes too - and you can always find it online here.
BUDGET NEWS: Current Year Cuts Still Up in the Air
Governor: $27.1 million
- $462,871 from Iowa Department of Public Health (local boards of public health & substance use treatment)
- $10 million from Medicaid
- $3.3 million from DHS
Senate : $31.9 million
- $925,742 from Iowa Department of Public Health (does not say how the cuts are made)
- $0 from Medicaid
- $6.2 million from DHS (does not spell out how cuts are made)
- Adds language prohibiting any benefit cuts in Medicaid, including waivers.
House: $20.5 million
- $662,871 from Iowa Department of Public Health (does not say how the cuts are made)
- $0 from Medicaid
- $4.3 million from DHS (does not spell out how cuts are made)
- Keeps language prohibiting any benefit cuts in Medicaid, including waivers.
- Adds retroactive eligibility back for nursing homes only (this the ability to bill for up to three months of services provided before a person applies for Medicaid; it was eliminated last year for all providers).
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Revenues Looking Up
ON THE OTHER SIDE: Governor Rolls Out Her Tax Plan
Check out the full list of disability-related bills that survived the first funnel deadline, using our online Bill Tracker here.
- Bills that survived the funnel will show automatically ("Active" list).
- To see bills that failed to make the funnel, just switch to the "Inactive" list.
- Remember that you can download a spreadsheet of the bills by clicking "Export."
The surviving bills now have until March 16 (4 weeks) to make it through committee in the other chamber. So if you see something you want to pass, let your legislators know using our Advocacy Center.
PLAN A CAPITOL DAY NOW!
After last year's crowds and demonstrations, it's pretty quiet at the Capitol. This year is a perfect time to organize a group and have your own Capitol Day!
ID Action will provide eight (8) Capitol Day grants up to $500 each for advocacy training and support to local advocacy groups who are interested in meeting with their legislators and advocating on behalf of disability related issues at the Iowa State Capitol . There are a few rules - your group must:
- Consist of at least 10 people with a disability (no more than 20)
- Advocate for disability related issues
- Schedule a Capitol Day on either Tuesday or Wednesday now through April
Participate in an advocacy training at the beginning of the Capitol Day
Set appointments with your legislators (ID Action can assist)
Provide a written recap of your Capitol Day within two weeks after your visit
While not required, we encourage groups to do the following while at the Capitol:
- Watch a floor debate
- Attend a committee meeting
- Meet with other state agencies
- Meet with ID Action or Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council staff
- ID Action Capitol Day Grants cannot be used to attend other organization's lobby days.
To apply for an ID Action Capitol Day grant, please fill out the grant application. Call 866-432-2846 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Grants are available on a first come, first served basis for eligible groups.
Do not miss out on the best way to advocate - in person, in your own area. Iowa's elected officials are really good about getting back to their districts and talking to the people they represent. That goes for our members of Congress as well as your state legislators, and Governor Kim Reynolds, who is continuing the Branstad tradition of getting to all of Iowa's 99 counties each year.