Iowa's Medicaid director Michael Randol to depart next month

Search for new director begins 'immediately'

Michael Randol, Iowa Medicaid director, addresses care providers during a town hall at Kirkwood Community College in Ced
Michael Randol, Iowa Medicaid director, addresses care providers during a town hall at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids in May 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The director of Iowa’s Medicaid program is leaving his role next month.

Michael Randol, who was hired to oversee the state’s privately managed program about two and a half years ago, is stepping down from his role on Aug. 14 to take an unspecified job in the private sector, the Iowa Department of Human Services announced Wednesday.

Recruitment of a new director will begin “immediately,” department officials said.

In the meantime, Deputy Medicaid Director Julie Lovelady will serve as interim director.

The announcement did not include information on Randol’s new position in the private sector, and a DHS spokesman declined to offer more details.

Randol was brought on to led Iowa Medicaid Enterprise in December 2017, the organization within DHS that oversees the state’s multibillion-dollar Medicaid program that serves more than 700,000 poor and disabled Iowans each year.

Gov. Kim Reynolds hired Randol to try to stabilize Iowa Medicaid, a program that has been plagued with criticism since it privatized in April 2016. Since then, several managed care organizations — or private insurance companies that administer Medicaid benefits — left the state’s program because of what they described as chronic underfunding.

Before coming to Iowa, Randol led the Medicaid program in Kansas for five years.

“I am so thankful for the work he’s done to not only stabilize the program, but improve the system, incorporate technology, and set a foundation that we can build on moving forward,” Reynolds said in a news release.

DHS Director Kelly Garcia praised Randol in her statement Wednesday, saying he has done “a tremendous amount of work to get our program on track.”

“I look forward to the next steps as we move into a new phase, which includes focusing on outcomes and social determinants of health,” Garcia said in the news release. “We have a lot of exciting opportunities ahead.”

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