Disability Rights Iowa is urging Iowans to go online and share their stories about problems with the private companies that manage care for Iowa Medicaid patients.

Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, says the #IamMedicaidIowa campaign grew out of a December forum that highlighted what Hudson calls “turmoil” in the program.

“Many people came up to me and said: ‘Politicians need to see our faces. They are just thinking about the numbers,'” Hudson says. “…That’s why we’re doing this.” People are being encouraged to post photos and videos on the Disability Rights Iowa website to illustrate the obstacles they face.

Hudson says Iowans with “very significant disabilities” who get Medicaid-covered services in their homes are able to avoid more expensive care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“Medicaid managed care and Medicaid is about people rather than dollars,” Hudson says. “…It is affecting many Iowans, including people with disabilities, family members, providers and taxpayers as well.”

According to Hudson, the system is “so chaotic right now,” many disabled Medicaid patients do not have a consistent contact to discuss their case. Hudson uses the word “unfathomable” to describe the process of trying to appeal a decision made by the private companies managing Medicaid care.