IDPH Legislative Update - Feb. 5, 2016

05 Feb 2016 12:56 PM | Lara Marsh (Administrator)

This week’s newsletter showcases snapshots from the first three weeks of session. 

In this issue:

IDPH Legislative Budget Package Overview

The IDPH legislative budget package for FY 2017 is focused on supporting strategic reallocations in the existing general fund budget for the department. Reallocations were considered based on historic reversions back to the general fund and additional needs identified in other department program areas. By reallocating funds, IDPH will be able to reduce reversions back to the general fund and, instead, use the funding for programming within the department that is required by the Iowa Code but is unfunded or underfunded.

Reallocated to:

  • Increase of $74,059 to the PRIMECARRE Program to close the gap between the number of applicants and existing funding.
  • Increase of $60,000 for the Certificate of Need (CON) Program to support the administration of this program.
  • New allocation of $47,000 to the Child Vision Screening Program to create a sustainable funding source for ongoing costs.
  • New allocation of $74,389 for the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) to compensate for reduced federal funding.
  • New allocation of $150,000 to fund the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) service charges (utility billings) to fully execute the requirements of Executive Order 20 and the directives of the 2010 Government Reorganization and Efficiencies Act.

Reallocated from:

  • $275,000 from the Gambling Treatment and Prevention Program without decreasing the clients receiving problem gambling treatment and without decreasing provider rates.
  • $25,000 from the Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening Program due to feedback from the subcontractors regarding difficulty spending funds.
  • $105,448 from the Mental Health Workforce Stipend Program due to historical reversions. A portion of the funding will be used for the PRIMECARRE Program.  Specified mental health professions are eligible for this funding.

Additionally, $500,000 is being requested from the Technology Reinvestment Fund for the second year of requested funding for the Maternal and Child Health database integration project.  Project goals include:

  • Integrate 5 program data collection systems across 8 programs in the Bureaus of Family Health and Oral and Health Delivery Systems.
  • Better support our stakeholders and to improve the outcomes of the families they work with.
  • All 8 programs impacted operate in all 99 counties and serve all children and pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid as well as low-income and uninsured or underinsured Iowans.
  • Currently the 5 systems function independently of each other, are not web-based, and cannot share data among users or with the public. The systems are aging and are costly to repair and present data security issues.
  • Features of the new system will include case management, referral management, risk assessment, billing, and client and population-level reporting.

*See the IDPH FY 17 Budget Memo for more information.

Public Health Flexibility Bill

This bill will consist of two parts that both attempt to encourage collaboration amongst public health stakeholders and to increase flexibility in local decision making as it relates to public health.  Many factors will impact the delivery of public health services now and in the future. The Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), workforce turnover in administrator positions in local agencies, an aging public health workforce, a trend toward voluntary national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), decreases in federal funding, and the opportunities that the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant will bring in the next few years are just a few examples. Adjustments in Iowa Code will provide greater opportunities for local public health agencies to respond to new challenges and opportunities, and organize in ways that better meet their needs, as well as realign accreditation efforts around national standards. For more information please read “Public Health Challenges” included in the IDPH Policy Package information attached to this publication.

The bill has been introduced in the Senate as SSB 3072. The subcommittee members assigned to the bill are Senators Mary Jo Wilhelm, Rich Taylor and Mark Segebart. A meeting of the subcommittee has not been scheduled as of this writing.

Division I: Division I has three goals, 1) to remove code language that has become outdated, 2) to merge the work  of  two councils that were established under the code chapter, and 3) to retain the Fund that is being used to support quality improvement efforts in local public health agencies across the state.

Division II: The goal of Division II is to reduce barriers in law which restrict local organizing strategies  in Iowa Code Section 137 District Boards of Health and to increase flexibility for local decision making.

*See the additional materials, titled “IDPH Policy Package” for more information.

Subcommittees Attended

HSB 503 Prescription Authority for Psychologists. A subcommittee of Representatives Linda Miller, Joel Fry and Timi Brown-Powers met on Wednesday, January 27. The subcommittee members will continue to consider the information provided at the meeting. It has not been discussed by the full Human Resources Committee as of this writing. 

HSB 511 Certificate of Need. A subcommittee of Representatives Ako Abdul-Samad, Linda Miller and Joel Fry met Monday, January 25.  The subcommittee members will continue to consider the information provided at the meeting. It has not been discussed by the full House Human Resources Committee as of this writing. 

HF 420 Regulation of Tanning Facilities. A subcommittee of Representatives Greg Forristall, Timi Brown-Powers and Joel Fry met on Thursday, January 28. The bill passed out of subcommittee without amendments. It may now be considered by the full House Human Resources Committee. 

HF 2025 Out-of-State Medical Examiner Fees. A subcommittee of Representatives Rob  Bacon, Lisa Heddens and Tom Moore met on Wednesday and Thursday, January 20 and 21. The bill was passed out of subcommittee with an amendment. It will now be considered by the full House Human Resources Committee.

HF 2041 Supervision of Physician Assistants. A subcommittee of Representatives Linda Miller, Rob Taylor and Cindy Winckler met on Wednesday, January 27. The subcommittee members will continue to consider the information provided at the meeting. It has not been discussed by the full House Human Resources Committee as of this writing.    

SF 508 Fireworks Protocol. The bill was first introduced in the 2015 legislative session and is being revisited. A subcommittee of Senators Jeff Danielson, Rick Bertrand, Jake Chapman, Wally Horn and Brian Schoenjahn met on Wednesday, January 27. The bill passed out of the Senate State Government Committee with amendments on February 3. The bill may now be considered by the full Senate Chamber. 

SF 2032 Disclosure of Mental Health Information. A subcommittee of Senators met on Thursday, January 28. The bill passed out of subcommittee with possible amendments to include references to federal law governing specially protected health information. The bill may now be taken up by the full Senate Human Resources Committee.    

Other Information

  • To review any report filed with the General Assembly by executive branch agencies, including IDPH, please click here.
  • The Iowa General Assembly website is a great source of legislative information. Take a few minutes to check out the wealth of resources available.
  • The Legislative Update is also posted on the IDPH website.
  • To subscribe to the IDPH Legislative Update, please send a blank email

For more information, please contact Deborah Thompson, Policy Advisor for IDPH, at 515-240-0530 or