The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
I applaud the U.S. Inspector General’s decision to investigate whether federal officials are providing proper oversight to ensure Medicaid recipients get the care to which they are entitled.
Since it was launched three years ago in Iowa, privatized Medicaid has been unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable. Medicaid advocates, policymakers and other taxpayers deserve an investigation that answers the question on all of our minds: Are some MCOs putting the bottom line ahead of patient health and safety?
The Inspector General initiated the review of the oversight role of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the request of U.S. Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging.
In his request, Casey cited reports from across the country “alleging that some Medicaid managed care companies (MCOs) continuously deny care to patients sorely in need of care. In some cases, patients have experienced entirely preventable life-altering harms.”
In its description of its investigation, the Inspector General acknowledges that privatized Medicaid “can create an incentive to deny beneficiaries’ access to covered services.”
If you’d like to submit comments to the investigation, go to oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud. Be sure to reference Medicaid Managed Care Organization Denials (Report Number W-00-19-31535).