Thursday morning read: Medicaid provider suspension not yet approved, fifth homicide investigation this year begins, School seclusion complaint under investigation

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Federal officials say Medicaid provider suspension not yet approved - Only a little more than a week before Iowa Medicaid enrollees are to be shifted from departing AmeriHealth Caritas to UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it has not approved the temporary suspension of a provision that requires a choice between managed-care organizations.

On Tuesday, Iowa Department of Human Services said Amerigroup Iowa ­— one of the state’s two remaining insurance companies on the Medicaid program for 2018 — does not “have capacity to take any new members,” according to a notice sent to lawmakers and obtained by The Gazette. Read more...

Fifth homicide investigation in Cedar Rapids this year - The death of a man found in an alley Wednesday morning is being investigated as a homicide.

Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said officers were called to the alley in the 500 block of 10th Street SW at 7:24 a.m. for a deceased man located there. Buelow said the man — who was in his 30s — had suffered “fatal traumatic injuries.”

“Based on the evidence and information obtained at this time, investigators are conducting a homicide investigation,” Buelow said in a news release. Read more...

School seclusion complaint under investigation - The Iowa Department of Education is investigating a complaint against the Cedar Rapids Community School District for inappropriately secluding a Pierce Elementary third-grader last spring.

The complaint filed Tuesday by Coralville attorney Mary Richard also says the Cedar Rapids Community School District did not report its seclusion statistics to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and she said the district has seen rising numbers of students secluded or restrained. Read more...

ISU drops appeal in marijuana T-shirt dispute - After several judges already sided with former Iowa State University students who accused administrators of violating their free-speech rights by banning a marijuana T-shirt design, the university is dropping its appeal.

The lawsuit pertains to events in 2012 when then-students Erin Furleigh and Paul Gerlich — with ISU’s National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws chapter, or NORML — say administrators, after pressure from state politicians, rescinded their group’s T-shirt designs. Read more...

Bohannon, Cook boost Iowa to Cayman Islands win - The Iowa men’s basketball team didn’t have the Cayman Islands Classic it wanted.

But while the losses to Louisiana and South Dakota State left the Hawkeyes with plenty to work on, they did manage to leave there with one win — a 95-85 triumph against Alabama-Birmingham — in which its two most important players stepped up when needed. Read more...

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