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Legislature

IEMSA LEGISLATIVE DOCUMENTS


Legislative Accomplishments

2015
During the 2015 86th Iowa General Assembly, IEMSA was able accomplish and make progress on a NUMBER OF IMPORTANT items on our legislative agenda.

  • We were able to hold off the fireworks legislation. By working with a coalition of healthcare and public safety entities, along with our members engaging their legislators on this important item, we kept this piece of legislation from becoming law. The end of the session only means the start of our work for the 2016 87th Iowa General Assembly. The hurdles this bill passed this session, assures that it WILL be introduced next year. Our lobbyist, Lynzey Kenworthy, has already met with the coalition to strategize on how to best prevent this from becoming law next session. It will be imperative we remain engaged in the fight to keep Iowans safe from dangerous fireworks.
  • We secured a seat on the Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board. Now, Iowa’s EMS providers will have a voice and representation in communications issues going forward.
  • Work continues on drafting a Comprehensive EMS Reform Bill. IEMSA is continuing to solicit concerns through our membership surveys to identify issues that need to be addressed in Iowa. Rather than rush through legislation that would need reworking later, drafting a well thought out piece of legislation that addresses these issues is our goal. Findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration EMS Assessment will be critical in making a strong case for change.
  • Building a strong foundation for Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Paramedicine in Iowa continues to be a priority for IEMSA. This is a great opportunity to move EMS forward and provide the best and most appropriate care for our patients.
  • Medicaid reimbursement is still a challenge. With two years of 10% increases in the Iowa Medicaid reimbursement rate, Iowa still ranks the lowest in the Midwest. With anticipated changes, IEMSA will continue to pursue to bring Iowa’s Medicaid reimbursement in line with other states and ultimately, at a parity with Medicare reimbursement rates.

2014
HF 2459 increased the individual state income tax credit for qualifying volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel from the existing maximum of $50 to $100, with changes retroactive to tax year 2014. The bill also created a tax credit for reserve peace officers equal to $100, first eligible for tax year 2014. This is a great achievement for volunteer and reserve public safety personnel in the state of Iowa!

More than 100 public safety professionals attended the bill signing ceremony in West Des Moines, during which Governor Branstad paid tribute to First Responders, saying, “I personally have benefitted from those services as I know literally hundreds of thousands of other Iowans have,?recalling the care he received from Lake Mills Emergency Medical Services 34 years ago after being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Governor Branstad also signed a proclamation declaring the week of May 18, 2014 as Emergency Medical Services Week in Iowa.

Positive news regarding other IEMSA supported initiatives included:

  • HF 2463 - HHS Appropriations Bill.
    Contains language that increases the Medicaid reimbursement for ambulance service another 10 percent, signed by Governor Branstad.
  • SF 2349 - Infrastructure Funding.
    Contains language that appropriates $150,000 to the Bureau of EMS for software development and data tracking, signed by Governor Branstad.

Thanks to the hard work of our IEMSA Lobbyists, Mike Triplett and Lynzey Kenworthy, as well as our President, Jerry Ewers, the Board of Directors, and our Office Manager, Lisa Arndt for their hard work and persistence, which contributed to the legislative success achieved this year.

IEMSA will continue to work to make Emergency Medical Services an essential service in the state of Iowa, and to accomplish this, we need your help! Please take a moment to take our survey which will assist in determining our legislative priorities for the upcoming session. If you aren’t a member of IEMSA, please consider joining to help the greatest EMS Association in our county make a difference for our patients, communities, and our people; it’s time to make a difference!

THANK you for your dedication to the improvement of emergency medical services in the state of Iowa!

2013
House File 648 creates a Public Safety Training Task Force and includes a representative from IEMSA. The bill also appropriates $50,000 to run the task force through its period to make recommendations.

Senate File 446 included language to create an EMS Task Force of 23 members, who are charged with holding six meetings. The Task Force is also required to issue a report that will be due to the Legislature and others by December 2013. The bill also appropriates $28,664 to run this task force.

The House and Senate finally agreed, in Senate File 446, to expand Medicaid for certain populations currently covered by Iowa Care. This means we will be reimbursed at the Medicaid rate for ambulance service for these patients, effective January 1, 2014. Iowa Care will officially go out of existence on December 31, 2013.

SF 446 also includes a 10 percent increase in funding for EMS reimbursement in Medicaid. Effective July 1, 2013.

Governor Branstad has until June 22 to sign both of these bills. Since they are both appropriations bill, he has the constitutional item veto authority to approve bills but disapprove of specific provisions within. IEMSA has written a letter to Governor Branstad, urging him to approve of all four items.

2012
In 2012, IEMSA worked with several other groups to pass the IPOST bill, HF 2165. This bill expanded a pilot project that created a transportable medical order, called a “Physicians Orders for Scope of Treatment?  for the elderly, the frail and infirm or people with terminal diseases. This document would travel with the patient to all settings and would give health care providers guidance on the patient’s end-of-life wishes in certain circumstances. Under Iowa Code 144D, EMS personnel are given the flexibility to comply with or disregard the directives in a POST form, and will not be subject to criminal, civil or regulatory liability for acting in compliance with or failure to comply with a POST form. The new law was effective July 1, 2012.

Also in 2012, IEMSA and the Iowa Fire Fighters Association worked on a bill that created a $50 income tax credit for volunteer EMS and fire personnel. This has been an IEMSA priority issue for many years, and Governor Branstad signed SF 2322 into law on April 27, 2012, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013. This has been a long-standing priority issue for IEMSA.

Also in 2012, IEMSA supported a bill that changed the E911 system in Iowa. The bill changed the funding allocation for the wireless surcharge, moving more money toward the local PSAPs to help them build their infrastructure. SF 2332 also created a Task Force to review local and state governance issues facing the E911 system. The new law has a variety of effective dates.

2011
In 2011, IEMSA worked with the American Heart Association and the Red Cross to defeat a bill, HF 109, that would have eliminated the requirement that CPR be taught in all Iowa high schools.

2010
In 2010, IEMSA worked with the Iowa Department of Public Health’s EMS Bureau and a group of legislators to make technical changes to the existing statutes governing EMS. These changes were necessary with the advent of the new national scope of practice model. The changes took effect on July 1, 2010. In 2010, IEMSA worked with a coalition of groups on clarifying the obligations of EMS personnel to communicate with law enforcement when treating gunshot wounds, stab wounds or other serious injuries in certain circumstances. The changes are incorporated in Iowa Code 147.111. This law took effect on July 1, 2010.

Also in 2010, IEMSA worked with a coalition of other groups to pass HF 2402. This law establishes a stroke triage system and registry, and was effective July 1, 2010.

2009
In 2009, IEMSA helped pass legislation HF 380, which granted volunteer EMS medical directors immunity from civil liability for acts within the scope of their practice. Now, the definition of an “emergency medical services medical director?under Iowa Code 147A. 1(6) contains language that an EMS medical director “who receives no compensation for the performance of the director’s volunteer duties ?. shall be considered a state volunteer? Under Iowa Code 669.24, state volunteers are granted limited immunity from liability in certain circumstances. This became effective on July 1, 2009. This was one of IEMSA’s major priority issues for 2009.

Also that year, IEMSA worked to amend and pass legislation (HF 671) that granted volunteer EMS personnel protection from job termination for responding to EMS-related situations. Known as the “Volunteer Emergency Services Providers Job Protection Act, Iowa Code 100B.14 offers limited protection for volunteer EMS personnel against job termination and discrimination in hiring. This law also took effect on July 1, 2009.

2008
In 2008, IEMSA lobbied the Iowa Public Employers Retirement Systems? Benefits Advisory Committee to get EMS personnel included in its definition of “protection class? After persuading the Committee to adopt the change, IEMSA followed up with work on
SF 2424 to codify this in Iowa Code 97B.49B. It became effective on July 1, 2008. This was one of IEMSA’s major priority issues for 2008.

 

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