Former Kansas Medicaid leader hired in Iowa

Michael Randol to lead state's privatized program

Enrollment information for managed-care organizations in Iowa’s Medicaid privatization plan, photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Enrollment information for managed-care organizations in Iowa’s Medicaid privatization plan, photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Michael Randol, who led the Kansas privately managed Medicaid program for five years, has been appointed to direct Iowa’s Medicaid Enterprise, officials with the state Department of Human Services announced Friday.

Randol is set to start Dec. 4. In his new role, Randol will oversee the state’s $5 billion Medicaid program, which serves more than 600,000 Iowans each year.

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from William Woods University with an emphasis on finance, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of the State of New York, according to a news release.

“Michael Randol is experienced as a leader and has a comprehensive understanding of Medicaid and specifically managed care,” Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven said in a statement. “His expertise will be an asset to the department as we continue improving the IA Health Link managed care program. I look forward to working with Michael as we focus on improved health outcomes and on oversight and accountability of our managed-care partners.”

Human Services officials declined The Gazette’s request to comment further on the announcement.

Randol held a similar post since 2012 in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, where he was the state Medicaid director with responsibilities for KanCare, the State Employee Health Plan and the State Self-Insurance Fund.

Randoll departs Kansas as that state seeks insurers to manage a new version of its privatized Medicaid program for 2018, which the Wichita Eagle reported serves about 400,000 people.

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Kansas’s $3.2 billion managed-care Medicaid program has been the subject of controversy since its 2012 launch, according to the Kansas Health Institute. In KanCare’s first year, the three private insurance companies that administer the program lost $110 million.

In 2016, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback cut more than $56 million from KanCare as a part of larger budget cuts, prompting protests from health care providers that had been complaining about late payments and problems getting treatment authorizations from the managed-care organizations.

A letter from federal officials in late 2016 said investigators found the KanCare program was “substantively out of compliance with federal statutes and regulations, as well as its Medicaid State Plan,” according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

In October, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and CHIP Services granted Kansas a 12-month extension of KanCare, which gives state officials time to implement a corrective plan and to draft a new version of the privatized Medicaid program.

This year in Iowa, AmeriHealth Caritas, one of its three managed-care providers, said it will withdraw from the state’s Medicaid program for 2018. All its beneficiaries ­— which include about one in four Iowans — will be moved to UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley plans.

Medicaid recipients have until March 1 to switch their provider — to the sole other managed-care insurer, Amerigroup Iowa.

l Comments: (515) 243-7220, rod.boshart@thegazette.com; (319) 368-8536, michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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