New Laws Take Effect Monday

July 1 marks the start of the state fiscal year and with it comes the effective date for a slew of new Iowa statutes that were enacted this past session. Among these are several bills of interest to the medical community. Below is a partial list of the new statutes that take effect on Monday:

  • Eliminating Medicaid Prior Authorization for Medication Assisted Treatments
    DHS is required to make available at least one of each of the five most common forms of medication assisted treatment without requiring prior authorization, eliminating an unnecessary and potentially barrier to the treatment of substance use disorder.
  • Children’s Mental Health System
    While planning has already begun, the legislative authority and directives to create Iowa’s first comprehensive children’s mental health system now takes effect. The new statute codifies a statewide Children’s Mental Health Board to guide implementation, lays out core services each mental health region must provide, and directs the regions to submit their implementation plan to DHS by April 1, 2020.
  • Additional Rural Psychiatric Residency Slots
    The State increases its commitment to rural mental health services in the form of $400,000 in new FY20 fund to create four additional psychiatric residency training slots, which will be located communities that serve rural populations.
  • Streamlining Medicaid Prior Authorizations
    Under an IMS-brokered agreement between the legislature and the governor, DHS is required to develop a uniform set of prior authorization application forms, which all three MCOs and the Medicaid fee-for-service must utilize, eliminating delays in service authorizations and reducing the administrative burden on practices.
  • Studying a Centralized Medicaid Prior Authorization Portal
    DHS is charged with studying the feasibility of expanding the MMIS eligibility verification system, which is in the process of being rebuilt, to also serve as a centralized hub for the submission of all prior authorization applications and receipt of authorization determinations in a move to further reduce administrative burden and unnecessary duplication.
  • Combatting Pediatric Obesity
    The new fiscal year brings continued funding for IDPH to help coordinate statewide efforts to combat pediatric obesity. These efforts include the wide success of the 5-2-1-0 initiative, with IMS, the Healthiest State Initiative, and a host of state and local partners working to integrate clinical and community resources on a wholistic approach to this public health problem.
  • Streamlining Restoration of Medicaid Eligibility
    Medicaid is now required to suspend, rather than terminate, Medicaid eligibility for all individuals entering the correctional system. Upon release, patients’ Medicaid eligibility will be automatically restored without requiring that they reapply for the program.
  • Preference in Awarding Residency Slots
    In an effort to increase the retention of physicians in training, all state-funded residency programs and the federally-funded residency slots at the University of Iowa are now required to give preference to residents of Iowa or individuals who received their undergraduate or medical degree from an Iowa-based institution.

These are just a few of the many new laws that take effect July 1, 2019. For more information on these or any other legislative issues, please contact Dennis Tibben, Director of External Affairs with the IMS Center for Physician Advocacy.

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