Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign

The Iowa Legislature, the Department of Human Services, and hundreds of stakeholders have been working for several years to redesign Iowa’s county-based mental health and disability services system. A strong effort supported by both Republicans and Democrats resulted in legislation calling for the redesigned system to be consistent with Olmstead principles, and to make a set of core services available to Iowans with intellectual disabilities or mental illness, reduce inequities in county funding, improve access and focus the service system on outcomes and performance reporting. Refer to DHS’s Redesign Website for current information.

CDD continues to assist in the redesign effort in several ways:

  • With CDD’s help, DHS secured approval for enhanced federal Medicaid match under the Balancing Incentive Payments Program (BIPP). A requirement of the BIPP is that Iowa increase the proportion of its long term supports and services (LTSS) funding spent on home and community based services to over 50% of total LTSS funding by September 30, 2015. BIPP-approved states are required to take steps to streamline access to the service system through a No Wrong Door system.
  • CDD has partnerships with the Department on Aging, the state’s two Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and Iowa’s information and referral networks, to assist in the design of a network of entry points across the state for Iowans with disabilities.
  • CDD is helping DHS create a standardized system to ensure all Iowans with disabilities who are entering the system get have reliable, unbiased and fair assessments of their needs to create a good foundation for their service plans.

Learn more about the plan at