IOWA OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
2023 Legislative Agenda
The Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association (IOMA) represents osteopathic physicians dedicated to serving their patients. IOMA supports legislation that will ensure that Iowans have access to high quality affordable health care.
MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM
IOMA supports legislation that would place a monetary cap on Noneconomic Damages in Medical Malpractice lawsuits. Current proposed legislation would impose a $1 million cap on noneconomic damages. Past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering and mental distress are the most common examples of noneconomic damages. Current data shows that twenty-nine states in the United States has some form of limitation on damages for medical malpractice claims.
PHYSICIAN WORKFORCE – MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT AND STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
The COVID pandemic has had a severe impact on physicians and other healthcare professionals nationwide. With many physicians being overworked and suffering from burnout, IOMA supports any legislative effort that seeks to increase the number of physicians working in the state whether it be additional funding for Medicaid patients or an increase in student loan grant or forgiveness programs to help newer physicians repay their student loans. We believe that current Medicaid payments to physicians fall far below the cost of providing care to Medicaid recipients. In order to attract more physicians to the state, IOMA requests that the state uphold its obligations to reimburse Iowa’s physicians at a fair and equitable rate for providing quality care for the state’s Medicaid recipients.
In 2022, the Iowa Legislature passed the MOMs (More Options for Maternal Support) Bill. This bill provides support for mothers and their children. Through the new MOMS legislation, a statewide program to promote healthy pregnancies and childbirth, the State will provide needed support, like parenting education, nutritional services, and material items such as diapers and car seats. Although the Legislature allocated $500,000 in state funding to expand these services, the funding is not yet available.
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
IOMA values the role allied health practitioners play in the health care delivery system. IOMA believes each professional should practice within the scope of their accredited training. Over the past several years, non-physician healthcare providers have sought legislation to expand their scope of practice. IOMA believes that the providers seeking to expand their scope of practice bear the burden of proof in demonstrating that they are capable of providing high quality, cost-effective and safe care to Iowans. The Legislature should be skeptical of claims of expanded access to care until they are presented with validated data demonstrating the distribution of the practitioners in question.
Obesity is recognized by leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization, as a chronic disease. Associated with decreased life expectancy and many comorbidities, obesity requires a long-term and comprehensive management approach to help people with the disease achieve and maintain successful weight loss. IOMA supports legislation to improve insurance coverage and access to treatment for FDA-approved anti-obesity medications and surgical obesity treatment
WHAT IS THE DO DIFFERENCE?
The difference is that the osteopathic physician receives additional training in what the osteopathic profession believes to be a most significant factor in comprehensive health care.
The D.O. recognizes that all the body’s systems are interdependent and a disturbance in one system causes altered function in other systems of the body. D.O.s use structural diagnosis and manipulative therapy of the musculoskeletal system, along with all of the other more traditional forms of diagnosis and treatment (drugs and surgery), to care effectively for patients and to relieve their distress.
“The mission of the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association is helping members practice osteopathic medicine and preserve the profession.”