May 31, 2020 Action Alert - Telehealth

Action alert re:  Telehealth

It has been brought to our attention that Iowa State Senate is working on a telehealth bill that would not be as expansive in coverage as the current Governor’s Proclamation. 

If you have time for one email or telephone call:   

Please email Senator Majority Leader Whitver and ask him to work with Senator Jeff Edler and their caucus to craft a bill that includes the provisions outlined in the Governor’s proclamation. 

This includes

  • reimbursement rates at 100% of an office visit rate
  • reimbursement for services from locations other than clinics
  • reimbursement for audio only telehealth services. 

Senator Whitver’s email address is:

If you have time for 2 emails, please contact Iowa Senate President Charles Schneider with the same message.

Senator Schneider’s email address is:

If you have time for 3 emails, please email YOUR State Senator and ask that the provisions in the governor’s proclamation on telehealth be made permanent.  This is particularly important if your state senator is a Republican.  Of course telehealth is not a partisan issue, but the Republicans are in the majority and are the decision makers. 

Find your senator’s email address here:

Here are some talking points from the NASW IA survey of social workers and allied mental health providers (300 respondents total):

Telehealth is an effective way to provide services safely

When asked “What have been the biggest positives when using telehealth in your practice?”

  • 140 respondents mentioned the ability to safely provide continuity of care
  • 97 noticed a decrease in barriers to care and fewer no-shows


The results on the cost of conducting telehealth, the administrative burden and the time required for practitioner preparation indicate that providing telehealth is not a less expensive endeavor than in-office visits.

Effectiveness of Telehealth (respondents were allowed to choose multiple answers)

  • 45% of respondents said that “Most clients seem to get as much out of telehealth interactions as they do in-person interactions”
  • 43% said that “Most clients seem to do fine with telehealth interactions, but I think that in-person interactions work better than telehealth.”
  • Only 3% responded that “Most clients don’t seem to get as much out of telehealth”

Cost of conducting telehealth

  • Only 15.6 % respondents said that “Conducting my practice via telehealth is less expensive than providing services in-person.”

Administrative Burden

  • Nearly 40% responded that “Administrative Burden has increased for my practice since 3-20-2020.”
  • Only 3.5% responded that “Administrative Burden has decreased since 3-20-2020.”

Preparing for telehealth activities (multiple answers allowed)

  • 33% said it “Is more time consuming than preparing for an in-person interaction”
  • 24% said it “takes about the same amount of time as preparing for an in-person interaction”
  • Only 3.5% said it “is less time consuming than preparing for an in-person interaction”

Please add your own story about how important telehealth is to your practice. 

Please let us know if you hear back from any Senators and what they say.

Thank you so much! 

The best advocacy campaigns are grassroots advocacy campaigns utilizing the power of working together on a common goal.