Legislative Bulletin

Legislative Bulletin

By Joah Hogan|
|January 13, 2023

Jan. 13, 2023

Weekly Summary

The 2023 legislative session kicked off Monday, Jan. 9, with 53 new legislators in the House and Senate chambers. Governor Kim Reynolds emphasized her commitment to a strong health care system in Iowa, particularly in rural Iowa. IHA is grateful for Gov. Reynolds and the Iowa legislature for their leadership and commitment to health care by addressing barriers in our industry. Below are the key hospital priorities Gov. Reynolds highlighted in her address:

 

Tort Reform

Gov. Reynolds reiterated her commitment to passing tort reform by placing caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Passing tort reform will stop skyrocketing medical liability costs, keep OBGYN clinics open and keep medical school graduates in Iowa. IHA supports tort reform and encourages hospital advocates to contact their legislators about the importance of placing caps on noneconomic damages.

 

Workforce

Gov. Reynolds unveiled plans to expand from $3 million to $15 million the Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Program to include more pathways to help meet the demands of Iowa’s health care workforce, especially rural maternal health care. This year’s program includes new opportunities for health care apprenticeships including emergency medical technicians, registered nurses, direct support professionals, behavioral health and substance abuse specialists and other critical areas. Applications for this year’s Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Grant Program are due Thursday, March 9. A webinar reviewing the application process is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27.

Maternal Health

Gov. Reynolds shared her commitment to maternal health care and statewide OBGYN services by revealing a comprehensive maternal health care package including:

  • Funding two additional Center of Excellence programs. These specialty hospitals use local primary care providers to connect rural patients with OBGYN services. IHA members St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll and Grinnell Regional Medical Center host these programs. IHA appreciates the integral role the centers play for rural health and looks forward to adding more Center of Excellence programs in Iowa.
  • Funding four OB fellowships for primary care doctors to address the demand for critical services in rural Iowa.
  • Adding apprenticeships for emergency medical services, mental and behavioral health and direct support professionals and expanding opportunities for nursing pathways.

Continuing expansion of the MOMS program. The program currently provides postpartum Medicaid coverage for six months after birth.

 

 

Legislation on the Move

More than 50 bills were introduced this week. The following bills relate to hospitals and IHA’s legislative priorities:

Rural emergency hospital licensure: House File 13 amends Iowa Code chapter 135B allowing rural emergency hospital licensure. The bill provides definitions, eligibility, licensure and application requirements. IHA supports the bill and will provide updates.

Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program: Senate Study Bill 1025 updates stipulations of the program. If a loan recipient fails to fulfill the five-year practice obligation of program, the commission is prohibited from making loan repayments. Prior language stated the loan recipient must pay back to the commission loan repayments. IHA supports the bill and will provide updates.

Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program: Senate Study Bill 1024 updates stipulations of the program. If a loan recipient fails to fulfill the five-year practice obligation of program, the commission is prohibited from making loan repayments. Prior language stated the loan recipient must pay back to the commission loan repayments. The bill also clarifies awards given to part-time practitioners. Mental health professionals practicing part-time will be awarded loan repayments proportional to the amount awarded to professionals practicing full-time.  IHA supports the bill and will provide update.

IHA extends appreciation to our members and the Iowa General Assembly for their advocacy efforts and looks forward to shaping policy for a strong health care environment for Iowans. Email questions to Erin Cubit or Jamie Horbach with the IHA advocacy team.

 

Legislative Forums

Meeting with legislators while they are in their home districts is a great way to advocate for issues hospital advocates care about. Check the list below of legislative events for the next two weeks. Some are in person and those that are virtual include the event link

Saturday, Jan. 21

  • 7:30-9 a.m. - Fairfield Legislative Forum, Greater Jefferson County Fairgrounds - Activities Building.
  • 10-11:45 a.m. - Hiawatha Legislative Forum, Kirkwood Linn Regional Center, Kirkwood Community College, virtual link.

Friday, Jan. 27

  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - Council Bluffs Legislative Roundtable, Council Bluffs Public Library.

Saturday, Jan. 28

  • 8:30-9:30 a.m. - Oskaloosa Eggs and Issues Legislative Forum, Smokey Row Coffee.
  • 9-10 a.m. - Camanche Legislative Coffee, Camanche City Hall.
  • 9-10 a.m. - Waverly Town Hall, Waverly Public Library.
  • 9:30-11 a.m. - Iowa City Legislative Forum, Iowa City Senior Center - Assembly Room, virutal link.
  • 10-11 a.m. - Clarinda Legislative Briefing, Lied Public Library - Public Meeting Room.
  • 10-11 a.m. - Carroil Legislative Forum, New Hope Village.
  • 10:30 a.m.-noon - Urbandale Talk with Official Forum, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Office, virtual link.
  • 11 a.m.-noon - DeWitt Legislative Coffee, DeWitt Community Center, virtual link.
  • 11 a.m.-noon - Charles City Town Hall, Floyd County Museum.

Saturday, Feb. 4

  • 9-10 a.m. - Greene Town Hall, Greene Public Library.

11 a.m.-noon - New Hampton Town Hall, New Hampton Public Library

 

 

 

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