Legislative Update – Week 13
Date of Publication (April 8, 2017)
Work continues behind the scenes on SF 465
, the IMS-crafted medical liability reform legislation that is currently awaiting floor debate in the House. Legislators continue to hear from trial attorneys in opposition to the bill. If you haven’t yet contacted your State Representative, please take a moment to do so via the IMS Action Alert
. If you have already contacted your legislator on this issue, please continue to keep in regular contact with them to ensure they’re hearing from supporters for the bill.
This week, legislative leadership released their joint budget targets for the coming 2018 Fiscal Year. The legislature’s targeted $7.245 billion total spending target is approximately $39 million below the governor’s revised recommendations, which we told you about last week
. The joint target for the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget is approximately $10 million below the governor’s recommendation.
IMS spoke this week with key legislators from both chambers to discuss the impact of the Medicaid rate cuts recommended by the governor. These cuts include the elimination of the enhanced primary care physician rates and capping Medicare crossover claims at Medicaid levels. IMS calculates that these two payment policy changes alone will result in more than $30 million in provider rate cuts, the vast majority of which will be shouldered by the physician community. We will continue to be in close communications with legislators on the Health and Human Services Appropriation Subcommittee as they work to craft the FY18 budget.
This week saw continued discussions on the issue of opioid abuse. On Monday, IMS Board Chair Michael Romano, MD, joined Senator Brad Zuan (R-Urbandale) and Representative Jarad Klein (R-Keota) on the Iowa Public Radio program, River to River. Dr. Romano helped explain why IMS opposes mandating prescriber use of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) as a means of combatting opioid abuse. Currently, Iowa’s PMP has among the slowest dispensed medication reporting times in the country, significant gaps in the prescribing records, limited functionality, and lacks EHR interoperability.
As we reported last week
, IMS is working to address the several of the issues with the PMP through a series of bills this session. Monday’s discussion further highlighted the need for these pieces of legislation, as well as the breadth of the issue beyond simply mandating use of a single healthcare tool. While legislators continue to contemplate a prescriber use mandate, they’ve also signaled an interest in working with IMS to identify broader solutions to the problem of opioid abuse.