***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

The Health and Human Services budget passed last week in the House and appropriates $2 billion state money for a total of $6 billion state and federal monies to Medicaid, child care assistance, family assistance, child and family services, Cherokee and Independence MHI’s, Glenwood & Woodward Resource Centers, Dept. of Human Services (DHS), Dept. of Public Health (IDPH), Dept. on Aging, Dept. of Veteran Affairs, and the Iowa Veterans Home.

It also provides for the merger of DHS and IDPH into a new agency Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Health and Human Services budget prioritizes community-based services for Iowans with intellectual disabilities as well as mental health services.

Disability Care

  • Provides a $14.6 million investment (including federal match it is $38 million) in home and community-based services rates. This allows for a $2 raise to all direct support professionals, and this bill requires this increase to go towards our front-line workers wages.
  • Provides a $7.4 million state investment to reduce the waitlist on the intellectual disability services waiver. This appropriation should add an additional 250 ID waiver slots.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for those with intellectual disabilities receive a total increase of $8.2 million, and also require these funds to go directly to direct support professional wage increases.
  • Provides a $4 million appropriation to create a new home health rate structure that provides an incentive for providing care to rural Medicaid members.

Mental Health

  • The bill provides funding to increase access to mental health care by expanding the workforce and increasing beds for the most difficult to serve patients.
  • It also completes the state’s transition of taking mental health funding off of property taxes, completely phasing out the mental health property tax levy and allocating an additional $71 million from the general fund for mental health regions.
  • Provides $3 million of state funding, and a total funding increase of $7.9 million, to behavioral health intervention services. This is a 35% increase because there are currently lengthy waitlists for individuals to get services due to staffing shortages.
  • Provides $2 million for psychiatric tiered rates so that hospitals are reimbursed based on the acuity of the patient and can receive the intensive psychiatric care that they need.
  • Provides $1.1 million of state funding and almost $3 million of total funding (including federal) to increase residential substance use treatment rates.
  • Requires insurers to cover mental health providers providing telehealth services no matter where they are located.
  • Funding appropriated for 12 new psychiatric residencies at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics per year, with a focus on the residents receiving their training at the state MHI’s, resource centers, Eldora state training school, and Oakdale medical classification center (in-processing for state prison inmates).

Child Welfare 

  • Funds an additional 50 employees to reduce caseloads for child abuse.
  • Funding increases provided for shelter and residential treatment programs for children in foster care.


  • Provides funding to remove the backlog with the state substitute decisionmaker.

Increases funding for the state long term care ombudsman

Author: Sandy Salmon


  1. Just curious, if NONE of these monies were appropriated what would be the real effect on individual Iowans for the next year?

    And what are “250 ID waivers”? What do they waive?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here