Iowa health care payment error rate low, reports show

Officials say report 'gratifying' after efforts to make payments more accurate

Federal investigators say Iowa's health care programs for children, the poor and the disabled make fewer payment errors than other states.

Reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Thursday show Iowa's children's health insurance program had a 2.7 percent error rate in 2011, far below the 8.2 percent national average.

About 65,000 children are covered in the program, known as hawk-i, which had the second lowest error rate among more than 15 states tested. Auditors looked for problems such as unintentional overpayments to providers and eligibility errors.

Federal officials found that Iowa's Medicaid error rate was 4.5 percent, compared to a 5.8 percent national average.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer says "it's gratifying" to see good results after making efforts to ensure accurate payments.

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