Representative Ann Meyer (R-Fort Dodge) introduced a series of bills in the very first week of the 2022 Legislative Session to expand access to mental health care in Iowa. 

"I have heard from members of my community, law enforcement, and health care providers about the need for treatment locations to place difficult patients and for additional mental health providers throughout the state," said Meyer. "I will not stop working to increase access to mental health care until every Iowan has the access to the quality care they deserve."

HSB 531 will increase the current capacity at the Independence and Cherokee Mental Health institutes by 50%. This bill will add 32 adult beds and 14 child/adolescent beds for Iowa's most difficult-to-place mental health patients. 

HSB 532 is legislation to fund 12 psychiatric residents per year. Iowa ranks 44th in the country in psychiatrists per capita. This bill will help increase the number of psychiatrists trained in Iowa. 

HSB 537 adds $1 million per year to expand loan forgiveness opportunities to continue to retain new prescribing mental health providers in Iowa. 

HSB 530 is a bill to require the Department of Human Services to establish a Medicaid rate for those needing a higher level of inpatient psychiatric care. 

The introduction of these four bills to the Iowa House this week is the first step in the process to becoming law. Increasing Iowans' access to mental health care has been a priority for Rep. Meyer and Iowa House Republicans and will continue through the 2022 Legislative Session. 

Speaker Grassley said this remains a priority for Iowa House Republicans this session. 

"The Iowa Legislature has passed significant legislation and increased appropriations to expand access to mental health in Iowa over the last few years," said Grassley. "However, there is still more we can do to treat mental illness like any other health care condition. I appreciate Representative Meyer taking a lead on this very important issue and getting straight to work on it in the very first week of session."

You can track the progress of each of those bills HERE

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