Iowa's Medicaid privatization draws scrutiny - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's Medicaid privatization draws scrutiny

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By CATHERINE LUCEY
Associated Press
  
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad's plan to privatize the state's Medicaid program is moving forward, though critics are raising questions about how the shift will impact patients.
  
Earlier this year, the state began an effort to shift Medicaid administration to two or more managed care organizations, to which Iowa will pay a fixed amount per enrollee to provide health coverage. State officials predict cost savings and say patients will still have access to quality health care.
  
But Democratic Senate President Pam Jochum, of Dubuque, said this week that she is not convinced, raising concerns about the quality of care for patients.
  
Amy Lorentzen McCoy, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said the new system would save the state money by avoiding duplication of services and by offering better preventative care.

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