2018 Legislative Scorecard

Strengthening Behavioral Health – IMS Win

This session, IMS and the Iowa Hospital Association co-led a large coalition of provider organizations, patient advocates, and law enforcement that pushed for enactment of the recommendations from the Complex Service Needs Workgroup. These recommendations establish comprehensive behavioral system reform, with the intent of strengthening the system and ensuring a long-term, sustainable plan for expanding access to care.

Telehealth Parity – IMS Win

Building upon the successful 2015 efforts to establish Medicaid telehealth payment and coverage parity, this session IMS secured legislation to establish commercial insurance telehealth coverage parity. These measures further strengthen the policy foundation to support expansion of telehealth services in the state of Iowa.


Protecting the Practice of Medicine – IMS Win

This year, IMS again halted or scaled back a number of dangerous provisions to allow non-physicians to practice medical procedures without appropriate additional training. In conjunction with the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology, we stopped efforts to repeal the statutory ban on optometrist injections and surgical procedures. Working closely with legislators in both chambers, IMS also significantly narrowed a proposal by the Iowa Pharmacy Association to allow for the establishment of statewide protocols that allow the dispensing and administration of medications and products without an individualized prescription or formal arrangement with a local prescriber.

Combatting Opioid Abuse – IMS Win

When legislators crafted a far-reaching omnibus opioid legislation this session intended to address Iowa’s opioid abuse problem, they included a series of expansive mandates on physicians. IMS successfully fought to narrow the scope of these provisions, while maintaining policy to strengthen Iowa’s Prescription Monitoring Program and establish Good Samaritan protections to remove barriers to calling for help in an overdose situation.

Protecting Public Health – Progress Made

Over the past year, IMS has grown its role in supporting public health efforts throughout the state, through its involvement in the statewide rollout of the 5-2-1-0 pediatric obesity initiative. IMS has become the statewide provider hub for resources, education, and technical assistance as practices look to implement 5-2-1-0 with their pediatric patient populations. This session, IMS worked with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), as well as several patient and provider organizations, to successfully push for $300,000 in additional IDPH funding to support and coordinate pediatric obesity efforts in the coming fiscal year.

Protecting Medicaid – Progress Made

Responding to a growing number of patient and provider issues associated with the Medicaid managed care program, this session legislators enacted a series of minimal oversight measures that largely mirror existing oversight efforts and contractual obligations for the Managed Care Organizations. These include standards for timely claims processing, standardized Medicaid provider enrollment forms, a review of the effectiveness of prior authorization standards, and an independent audit of small dollar claims to determine the accuracy of MCO determinations and payment. The legislation also directs DHS to convene a workgroup to review the health home program and issue recommendations for the future of that Medicaid initiative.

Physician Workforce – Progress Made

IMS, in conjunction with the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians, pushed this session to restore funding for the Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program, which provides loan repayment funds for primary care physicians who agree to practice in a rural community for a minimum of five years. While we were unsuccessful in securing a restoration of funding for this joint public-private partnership, these efforts were successful in maintaining funding of just over $1.1 million for the coming fiscal year. With the inclusion of these funds, the total state funds appropriated for this program since its inception has topped $9 million in state matching funds.

Recent News

Policy Forum 19-2 Held in Iowa City

The Policy Forum is the culmination of a six week virtual and in-person policy review process, where final actions on five Policy Request Statements submitted for consideration have been posted to the IMS website.

University White Coat Ceremonies & Student/Resident Socials

DMU OSM1 and UI M1 students receive whitecoats and attend student resident socials with IMS.

BPC, UnityPoint Host Rural Workforce Discussion

On August 13, the IMS attended a multidisciplinary discussion on rural workforce shortages, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center and UnityPoint.

Atlantic Iowa Burnout Programming Recap

A recap of the August 13 Burnout Resiliency Programming in Atlantic, Iowa, and more information on IMS events.

Proposed 2020 Medicare Fee Schedule Rule Released

CMS recently released the calendar year 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule including a number of proposed changes to Medicare payment policy, rates, and quality program metrics.

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