Advocacy

2019 Legislative Priorities

The following is a list of the legislative priorities identified by IAFP for the 2018 Legislative Session.

  1. Workforce: The Academy will continue to explore ways to increase quality physician access to patients in Iowa through workforce programs like the Primary Care Rural Loan Repayment Program drafted by the IAFP in 2014. Fully funded these programs is critical to maintain a physician centered primary care workforce in Iowa; 1) Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program, 2) Medical Residency Programs and 3) additional funding for psychiatric training at Des Moines University.
  1. Scope of practice protection: IAFP is opposed to legislation that would erode physician’s ability to practice within their full scope and put Iowa patients in harms way. To this end, IAFP is aware of the following perennial legislative initiatives:
  • Pharmacy Statewide protocols. IAFP will monitor the legislation put forth to ensure patients care and the physician-patient relationship is not compromised.
  • Direct entry midwives. The IAFP opposes direct entry midwives due to their lack of educational and medical training, and the impact this gap in education has on caring for their patients.
  • Naturopathic physicians. The IAFP opposes the licensure and recognition of naturopathic physicians because of the manner in which this group practices (i.e. do not follow evidence based practices).
  • Psychologist prescribing.  The IAFP will closely monitor Rules being developed jointly by the Board of Medicine and the Board of Psychology allowing certain psychologist the ability to proscribe psychotropic drugs.
  • Optometry procedures.  The IAFP will work with the Ophthalmologists at the Capitol to push back on any efforts to allow an optometrist to perform surgical procedures as part of the professions practice.
  1. Telehealth: In 2015 the IAFP was instrumental in creating payment parity for Medicaid patients being treated in person or through telehealth technology. The IAFP will advocate for private pay parity. In 2018 legislation was passed requiring commercial payors to provide parity for coverage, meaning the use of telehealth care is covered by healthcare insurance.  IAFP will look to expand telehealth further to increase access to physicians for rural or underserved Iowans.
  2. Behavioral Health: IAFP is aware and recognizes the mental health crisis that exists in Iowa and welcomed the work done in 2018. As providers, we see every day the need for more behavioral health providers and more points of access for inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care. IAFP supports any piece of legislation that helps increase the number of behavioral health providers, as well as increases access for behavioral health services across the state.

  3. Medicaid Managed Care: IAFP members continue to believe that value over volume is the answer to truly keeping patients well and bettering their health. With this in mind, IAFP supports Medicaid payment reform that pays physicians based on value rather than traditional fee-for-service payment methodology. IAFP will work to ensure there is proper oversite on the managed care companies overseeing the Medicaid program.

  4. Opioids: The IAFP recognizes the Opioid epidemic sweeping the country and infiltrating Iowa.  The IAFP will support efforts to expedite the PMP dispensed medication reporting, register all prescribers with the PMP and expand Good Samaritan protections in overdose situations.  Moreover, the IAFP is open to giving the tools needed to first responders when reacting to overdose situations.  

  5. Prior Authorization: The expansion of prior authorization greatly interferes with, prohibits, and delays patient access to medically indicated and necessary services. The IAFP supports any prior authorization reformation to remedy these areas so it is not detrimental to patient health and well-being.   

  6. Medical Cannabis: The IAFP will work in collaboration with the Iowa Legislature to draft a workable cannabis program in Iowa.