December 20, 2014

State of Iowa has low error rates for Medicaid, HAWK-I

A new federal report gives Iowa’s state government high ratings for a low error rate.

A federal audit found a “payment error rate” of 2.7 percent in the state-run program that provides health insurance to children. The national average was far higher, more than eight percent. Only one state had a lower error rate than Iowa.

The federal audit also reviewed Medicaid payments in Iowa and found a 4.5f percent error rate. Roger Munns of the Iowa Department of Human Services says that’s an improvement from the error rate discovered in a 2008 audit.

“Every time that an error is identified, we do a correction action plan for it and when you pay attention to things, good things happen,” Munns says. “But I don’t want it to make it sound like we’re perfect. Obviously there is still room for improvement.”

Over 400,000 Iowans are enrolled in Medicaid. The parents of nearly 70,000 Iowa children have gotten low or reduced cost health insurance for their kids through the state-run “Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa” or HAWK-I program.

“It’s useful, I guess, to know that people are looking over our shoulder and they sometimes find things in which we don’t perform as well as we’d like and, in this case, we find that we perform better than many of our peers,” Munns says.

The American Medical Association’s annual analysis of private insurance company error rates was released this summer. It found 9.5 percent of claims were paid incorrectly by private insurance companies.