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Derry: Legislation provides support for family caregivers
Rep. Karin Derry, House District 39 | Apr 3, 2019
Topic category: Health and Wellness

The House passed several pieces of legislation this week to strengthen Iowa’s health care and provide more access for patients.

The CARE Act, HF 533, is designed to provide support for family caregivers, who provide the majority of long-term care for their loved ones. It would require hospitals to record the names of caregivers and inform them of hospital discharge.

Hospitals would also discuss caregivers’ abilities and limitations, and provide instructions on the medical and nursing tasks that they must perform for their loved one after discharge from the hospital. This gives caregivers greater support in the overwhelming responsibilities of the transition from hospital to home.

This legislation will positively impact more than 317,000 caregivers in Iowa. Caregivers often face a multitude of challenges and it is our hope that this bill will help to ease the transition. Many critical issues remain, but the passage of the CARE Act is an important step forward and will support caregivers’ ability to assist their loved ones.

The House took action to expand access to medical cannabis to more Iowans suffering from severe or chronic pain. Previously, the Legislature passed legislation to provide access to cannabidiol (CBD), however it was so restrictive that many Iowans were unable to access this critical medicine that could improve the quality of their lives.

The bill the House passed increases the amount of cannabis patients can receive and provides more flexibility to providers to prescribe higher doses in cases where patients are terminally ill. It passed the House with bi-partisan support.

I am proud to support this legislation and am hopeful that the use of medical cannabis can make a difference in the lives of thousands of Iowans. I’m hopeful we can continue working to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for Iowans.

Tags: Medical Marijuana, Iowa, Caregivers, Legislation,
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