Policy Forum Scores Legislative Victory

Date of Publication March 30, 2018

Over the past few weeks, you have received multiple notices encouraging you to participate in the process leading up to Policy Forum 18-1, which will be held on Friday, April 27 in Des Moines. It can be easy to dismiss this organizational priority-setting process as nothing more than an exercise in establishing policy that has no real-world impact. This week, with a little help from Governor Reynolds, IMS demonstrated the importance of the Policy Forum process, when HF 2305 — legislation establishing commercial telehealth coverage parity — was signed into law.

This bill is a direct result of PRS 17-2-04 which established organizational support for Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial telehealth parity, and called upon IMS to pursue commercial telehealth parity legislation. Authored by three IMS members at the University of Iowa, this policy request refocused IMS advocacy efforts that began with the successful implementation of Medicaid payment parity in 2015, but which had stalled out after repeated attempts at commercial parity fell short. In response to PRS 17-2-04, staff tackled the commercial parity issue in a new way that ultimately yielded Iowa’s newest statute.

While none of the Policy Request Statements currently under consideration for PF 18-1 directly call for legislative action, several would establish IMS policy that has legislative implications and would guide the work of the Committee on Legislation as it forms our 2019 Legislative Agenda and reviews policy measures that arise throughout the year.

It is crucial that IMS membership provide input on these proposals as part of the virtual Testimony Forum, which is now open, or as part of the in-person meeting of the Policy Forum on Friday, April 27 at 1:00 pm in Des Moines.

For more information on the Policy Forum process, please contact Dennis Tibben with the IMS Center for Physician Advocacy. For more information on HF 2305, please check this week’s IMS Advocate.

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