Top 10 Gazette stories of the year: #8 In fits and starts, Iowa managing its way to managed care

Counting down the top Gazette stories of the years as voted by our readers

Michele Meadors, a Medicaid recipient, speaks during a Medicaid oversight hearing at the State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, August 29, 2016. The morning meeting invited providers and Medicaid recipients to speak about their experiences working with the MCOs following Iowa’s transition to managed care in the spring. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Michele Meadors, a Medicaid recipient, speaks during a Medicaid oversight hearing at the State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, August 29, 2016. The morning meeting invited providers and Medicaid recipients to speak about their experiences working with the MCOs following Iowa’s transition to managed care in the spring. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

They say watching government policy being implemented is like watching sausage being made.

In the case of Iowa’s managed care transition, we are still in the part involving the intestines.

As Medicaid was eating up a larger share of state budgets, and Medicaid expansion was mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad initiated a transition from the old Medicaid system to one involving management by private insurers, implemented April 1 of this year. Some lawmakers say this move happened too fast, certain health insurers are reporting losses, some Medicaid recipients are reporting struggles with processing payments, while the governor still stands by the move. So the verdict still is out on this one, especially as national lawmakers may contemplate repealing ACA in 2017 or beyond.

It all gets complicated from here. For more info, let’s go to the links. There are so many links. And there are more stories beyond this on the site if you’re still interested.

• Dec. 13 Iowa Medicaid insurers cautious to say if they’ll need another rate hike

• Dec. 2 Two Iowa Medicaid managed-care organizations again report millions of dollars in losses

• Nov. 7 Medicaid insurer Amerigroup denies $26,000 bill

• Oct. 31 Iowa to pay Medicaid insurers additional $33 million

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• Oct. 16 ‘This is about a kid’s well-being’: Iowa’s Medicaid challenges continue

• Sep. 16 Iowa insurance commissioner talks challenges, opportunities of Affordable Care Act

• Sept. 14 Months in, Iowa providers and beneficiaries tell feds Medicaid switch isn’t working

• Aug. 29 Medicaid provider payments again the focus of legislative committee meeting

• Aug. 26 Iowa on track to save $22 million in Medicaid spending

• Aug. 24 Branstad argues managed care reduces fraud; figures show Iowa Medicaid fraud already rare

• Aug. 22 Branstad: ‘Significant’ savings from Iowa’s privately managed Medicaid

• Aug. 14 Rating Iowa’s Medicaid health plans

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• Aug. 7 Medicaid payment challenges still plaguing Iowa health care providers

• July 26 Iowa Senators hear Medicaid provider concerns regarding billing woes

• July 25 Survey: Iowa Medicaid providers not getting paid on time, running into billing issues

• July 8 Some Iowa in-home care providers run into Medicaid billing issues

• July 3 Managed Care Year One: Some beneficiaries, providers still face real challenges

• June 30 Iowa agencies providing elderly care run into Medicaid billing issues

• June 16 Therapy providers running into major Medicaid billing problems

• June 5 Horizons working through Medicaid Meals on Wheels mishap

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• May 31 Medicaid providers, patients vent

• May 26 Some small Cedar Rapids providers run into Medicaid issues after privatization

• May 2 Cedar Rapids woman runs into guardianship issues under managed care

• April 20 Senators voice frustration over Iowa Medicaid transition

• April 10 Managed Care Year One: For Edbergs, finding a primary care doctor was harder than expected

• April 3 Iowa moves Medicaid over to managed care: ‘There will be bumps in the road’

• April 1 Medicaid managed care is here: 5 things you should know and here’s an interactive explaining the system

• March 23 Skeptical state senators press Medicaid MCO chiefs

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• March 1 Managed-care: An Iowa family’s journey

• Feb. 23 Iowa Medicaid managed care gets go ahead from federal government

• Feb. 16 Iowa Medicaid director says state is ready for managed care

• Feb. 8 Iowa politicians scuffle over Medicaid plan; former Gov. Culver weighs in

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