Update on RxP in Iowa

headshot for Dr. LonningIowa holds its place in psychology history as the fourth state to pass legislation that allows psychologists to prescribe medication after additional education and experiential training. The initial legislation was signed into law in 2016 and administrative rules were finalized in February 2019, which opened the door to begin licensing prescribing psychologists in Iowa.

On April 28, 2023 Governor Kim Reyolds of Iowa signed HF. 183 into law. This legislation had passed the Iowa House 95-0 and the Iowa Senate 50-0, receiving excellent support from both sides of the aisle. This law removes several barriers in our original RxP law. Introducing RxP laws in any state often includes some compromises that need to be addressed in the future, which was the case with our law in Iowa. I am happy to report the following barriers were removed:

  • Our original law included the language “in the 5 years immediately preceding application for a conditional prescribing certificate” and then listed all the components that need to be completed including the MSCP degree. The language ‘5 years’ has been removed which will allow those who have received their training prior to 5 years ago and those who have received their training out of state to be able to come to Iowa to practice.
  • Our original law also required supervising and collaborating physicians to be Board certified. That language has been removed and they now only need to be licensed. This opens the door for any physician to be able to supervise/collaborate with prescribing psychologists. 
  • Finally, our law, along with many others, requires the prescribing psychologist to interact with the patient’s primary care “physician.” Many psychologists working in rural areas know there often is not a physician in the area, rather a nurse practitioner or physician assistant is providing the primary care. The new language now reads “primary care provider” so that any patient receiving primary care can now be treated by a prescribing psychologist.

These changes go into effect July 1, 2023. Iowa currently has four prescribing psychologists, with several more who are in the process of their supervision currently. The need is tremendous and other psychologists are encouraged to pursue the training. For more information about RxP in Iowa, see the IPA website or contact Bethe Lonning, chair of the psychopharmacology committee.

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