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UnitedHealthcare leaves Iowa’s privately managed Medicaid program


This news story was published on March 30, 2019.
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DES MOINES – UnitedHealthcare is leaving Iowa’s privately managed Medicaid program after negotiations broke down over performance standards.

Gov. Reynolds released the following statement following the breakdown of negotiations:

Kim Reynolds

“Today I ended negotiations between the State of Iowa and UnitedHealthcare because of terms that I believed to be unreasonable and unsustainable.”From the day I was sworn in as Governor I have been committed to ensuring a sustainable managed care program that protects patients, supports providers, and holds the insurance companies accountable.

“We have continued to work in good faith, along with the legislature to make improvements to the managed care system, including a substantial increase to funding this past year.

“Unfortunately, UnitedHealthcare continued to make additional demands that I found to be unacceptable, including a provision that would remove pay for performance measures that would hold them accountable.

“I want to assure Iowans that the state will work closely with UnitedHealthcare over the next several months to minimize disruption and ensure a smooth transition to the two other managed care companies.”

Democrats were not thrilled with the news.

Senator Liz Mathis wrote, “All of this will cause so much confusion for those who are on Medicaid and those who provide care for them. It’s just going to be upside down for months because you have a number of members who have had maybe four or five different changes to their managed care organization.”

Senator Zach Wahls wrote, “This news confirms what hundreds of thousands of Iowans already know: Medicaid privatization has been a disaster from day one. It’s time to end this failed experiment and put Medicaid back under state control.”

Representative Sharon Steckman wrote, “The House minority has offered several bills to fix this terrible MCO problem ….now United Health Care is out! What a mess for providers and patients!”

Two years ago, Senator Amanda Ragan said privatized Medicaid in Iowa was a disaster.

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5 Responses to UnitedHealthcare leaves Iowa’s privately managed Medicaid program

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 2, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Get a joba nd pay for your own insurance

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 2, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Get a job, pay for your own insurance and you won’t have a problem.

  3. Avatar

    Perspective Reply Report comment

    March 31, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Pay for performance is a bad idea. The insurance companies get paid to keep costs down but that means less care for the patients, and of course less money in insurance expenditures for the state.

    Don’t let “Pay For Performance” mislead you because of the name. The “performance” they are talking about is “economic performance. That means keeping costs down at the expense of the patient. You have to ask yourself, what aren’t the Doctors doing for their patients to get their extra pay?

    Bad idea!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 1, 2019 at 8:11 am

      We were at the Mercy E.R. recently and saw on the computer a sign that said $5000 to the E.R. Doctor if he referred a patient to another doctor.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 31, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Not a surprise. Just another Republican failure.