Governor Terry Branstad says he had an “encouraging meeting” today with the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Branstad must get approval from the federal agency to implement his plan to shift 560-thousand Iowa Medicaid patients into managed care plans. According to a statement from Branstad, the governor outlined what other states have learned after making a similar move. Branstad stressed in his meeting that there’s a “two year phase-in” for some components of the plan.
Four private companies have been selected to manage the health care for Medicaid patients in Iowa hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Critics say the shift is causing chaos and concern for frail elderly and disabled Iowans who cannot afford to buy private insurance.
The Iowa Hospital Association has filed a lawsuit, asking a judge to block the governor’s plan. Hospitals face a January 1st deadline to sign-up, but Branstad’s administration has not revealed the rate card hospitals will use to begin contract negotiations with the four managed care companies.