Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners
Please review this proposed legislation!
Below is the hyperlink to the proposed bill (House Study Bill 159) at the state house that is being considered reference county medical examiner fees.
Current law states the CME/CME-I will submit their invoice for services provided to the county of appointment. The county of appointment pays the CME/CME-I. The county of appointment then requests reimbursement of those fees from the decedent’s county of residence.
The proposed bill has language that suggests the CME/CME-I send their invoice for services to the county of appointment who will then pass that invoice onto the county of the decedent’s residence. The decedent’s residence will then pay the CME/CME-I directly. There is concern that this proposed method could cause delays in the county medical examiners and their staff getting paid for services.
Any IACME member who is opposed to this proposed bill is asked to contact their local state representatives and/or senators to voice any concerns. The Jasper and Cerro Gordo County Auditors, along with Representative Sally Stutsman (from Iowa City area and former Johnson County Board of Supervisor) seem to be “leading the charge” on this bill. The Senate subcommittee (Senators Horn, Dearden and Johnson) voted to postpone the bill indefinitely last week.
The House subcommittee (Representatives Pettengill, Stutsman, and Drake) voted yesterday to pass the bill out of subcommittee. Below are the names of the Representatives and Senators on the State Government Subcommittees with whom CMEs and other Reps and Senators may wish to contact to voice any concerns
· Guy Vander Linden (R, District 79), Chair
· Mike Sexton (R, District 10), Vice Chair
· Vicki S. Lensing (D, District 85), Ranking Member
· Rob Bacon (R, District 48)
· Deborah L. Berry (D, District 62)
· Darrel Branhagen (R, District 55)
· Dennis M. Cohoon (D, District 87)
· Jack Drake (R, District 21)
· Lee Hein (R, District 96)
· Jake Highfill (R, District 39)
· Bruce L. Hunter (D, District 34)
· Daniel Kelley (D, District 29)
· Kevin Koester (R, District 38)
· Mary Mascher (D, District 86)
· Linda J. Miller (R, District 94)
· Dawn E. Pettengill (R, District 75)
· Todd Prichard (D, District 52)
· Quentin Stanerson (R, District 95)
· Sally Stutsman (D, District 77)
· Todd E. Taylor (D, District 70)
· Ralph C. Watts (R, District 19)
· John H. Wills (R, District 1)
· Cindy Winckler (D, District 90)
· Jeff Danielson (D, District 30), Chair
· Thomas G. Courtney (D, District 44), Vice Chair
· Rick Bertrand (R, District 7), Ranking Member
· Tod R. Bowman (D, District 29)
· Jake Chapman (R, District 10)
· Dick L. Dearden (D, District 16)
· Robert E. Dvorsky (D, District 37)
· Randy Feenstra (R, District 2)
· Wally E. Horn (D, District 35)
· David Johnson (R, District 1)
· Matt McCoy (D, District 21)
· Janet Petersen (D, District 18)
· Brian Schoenjahn (D, District 32)
· Jason Schultz (R, District 9)
· Jack Whitver (R, District 19)
The Auditors were willing to compromise on language in the bill to allow counties to each determine their billing/reimbursement practices, rather than change the law and make their proposal a blanket law for every county in Iowa. Their reason for proposing the amendments was because they thought the current process was redundant. The options are: oppose it outright and hope we win, compromise on and draft language in the law that both county MEs and Auditors agree on, or let the bill pass unopposed as is written. Our main concern is that we want to make sure CMEs and their staff are being reimbursed timely for the hard work you all do and to not have to put you all in a situation where you have to be a “collections agent” for your monies owed to you. This is an issue that requires immediate attention.
Mark your calendars
IACME 2015 Fall Meeting and Education Expo
Friday-Saturday, November 20-21
West Des Moines Marriott
The IACME Board of Directors is busy planning the IACME 2015 Fall Meeting and Education Expo, scheduled for Friday – Saturday, November 20-21, 2015 at the West Des Moines Marriott. The meeting dates have been changed to avoid a conflict with the Iowa EMS Association meeting.
The Board has reviewed attendee evaluations of the 2014 Fall Meeting and is discussing topics for this year. As usual, the emphasis will be on practical knowledge that truly helps you do a better job as an Iowa death investigator. Among possible topics for this year are fire deaths, police shootings and in-custody deaths, aviation/transportation accidents, deaths which involve international transporting of bodies and a review of Iowa’s most interesting cold cases.
Possible changes in the Friday evening reception and banquet are being considered. Watch for more information on these changes, which will increase your opportunity for networking and socializing.
Remember, if you join IACME by March 31, you will be eligible for a significant discount in the 2015 Fall Meeting registration fee. Visit the Pay Your Dues section of this web site to pay your dues online or download a 2015 dues statement.
We ask current IACME members to encourage your new colleagues to join IACME! For the first time, new death investigators who have never belonged to IACME will get one year of free membership. All they have to do is complete the 2015 dues statement on the IACME web site and mail it to: IACME, PO Box 554, Altoona, IA 50009.
Watch the web site and March IACME News for more information on the 2015 IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo.
Another successful IACME Fall Meeting
Over 140 county medical examiners and medical examiner investigators from around the state gathered in West Des Moines November 14-15 for the IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo. Attendees heard presentations from an expert in aquatic death and a first responder at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings. Additional presentations covered agricultural deaths, communicating with the media and Iowa’s emerging viruses.
Annual elections were held on Friday evening preceding the annual banquet. Re-elected to the IACME Board of Directors were: Gregory Schmunk, MD, Polk County Medical Examiner; and Michael Hensch, F-ABMDI, Johnson County Medical Examiner Department. At its meeting Friday morning, the IACME Board of Directors approved the addition of another MEI seat to the board. Thomas Summitt, D-ABMDI, Muscatine County Medical Examiner’s Office, was elected to fill that seat.
Dan D. Paulsen
Dan Paulsen, 46, Pocahontas, IEMSA Board Member representing the Northwest Region, passed away Friday, December 12, 2014 at the Pocahontas Community Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Jessica; children Makayla, Abigail and Christian and many other family, friends, co-workers and fellow EMS providers. He attended North Iowa Area Community College for Criminal Justice and Emergency Medical Technician at the basic and advanced levels. He served as EMT volunteer for many years around North Iowa and had worked as an EMT-Intermediate for Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames and Story City, Dallas County Ambulance. Dan worked as an EMT and served as EMS Director for Pocahontas Community Hospital and EMS Coordinator for Pocahontas County Emergency Response System. Dan also served as a Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Pocahontas County Medical Examiner’s Office since 2009.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We will miss his dedication to EMS and the impact he made on his community here in Iowa and around the country.
IACME Files Amicus Brief in Murder Verdict Reversal
IACME has filed an amicus brief opposing the Court of Appeals’ reversal of a guilty verdict in a Fort Dodge murder case. The court ruled that the defendant should get a new trial because testimony by the medical examiner was improper. For more on this important case, read the latest issue of the IACME News in the News section of this web site.
Electronic Death Certificate System launched
The Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) was launched by the Iowa Department of Public Health on April 21, 2014. The new electronic system totally replaces the manual paper process and makes filing of a death certificate more efficient.
Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners who complete death certification registration are required to use the new electronic system for all deaths occurring on or after April 21, 2014.
Medical certifiers who are involved in processing a death registration must have an account to access the new EDRS. For access to the EDRS, medical certifiers need to complete the User Access and Participation Agreement forms. To acquire the necessary forms and materials please contact the Bureau of Health Statistics help desk at (866) 309-0831 or email at email@example.com.
Prior to the launch of the new EDRS, the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Statistics conducted class room training for Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners, and state and local registrars. For users who need training, a web-based training will be available the end of May. To access this training, users will need to have or create an account on the MyLearningPointe website. Please visit the following website: https://www.mylearningpointe.com/ives/signinMLP.asp to set up your new account (please note this account is separate from the new electronic system).
If you need additional information on the new Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), please feel free to contact one of our Field Representatives listed below or the help desk at 866-309-0831 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Nichols – Field Representative District 1 Sammui.email@example.com 515-281-5001
Sandra Lyles – Field Representative District 2 Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org 515-725-2953