Iowa advocates remain skeptical about new Medicaid oversight

Newly approved state oversight of Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program will make it one the most transparent in the country, according to Gov. Terry Branstad, but some health advocates remain skeptical as state officials begin determining plans for organizing and delivering some information required under the oversight.

The Iowa Department of Human Services is tasked under legislation signed by Branstad last month to submit quarterly and annual reports on how three private insurance companies are running the state’s roughly $4.2 billion health care program for poor and disabled residents. Various groups will also monitor the program, which switched to private management on April 1.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy said the reports will be based on hundreds of pieces of information. Those metrics are expected to include everything from how often the insurance companies communicate with Medicaid recipients to the number of grievances filed by patients, according to agency documents.

More specifics on how the reports will actually look have yet to be finalized. The insurance companies will submit raw data to DHS, and the department will analyze it to compile the reports. The first batch of raw data is due at the end of September, and McCoy said a timetable

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