DHS lowers Iowa's projected savings for privatizing Medicaid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DHS lowers Iowa's projected savings for privatizing Medicaid

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(AP) -

Iowa health officials have lowered the state's projected savings for switching its $4.2 billion Medicaid program to private care.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer told a legislative committee Wednesday that the department now estimates it will save about $47 million in the first six months of 2016 with the move to privatization on Jan. 1. The original cost savings were roughly $51 million, and it's what the Legislature used to approve it current state budget.

Department spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy says several factors lowered the savings, including changes to the payment rates for providers who will offer Medicaid services.

The department has been criticized for not releasing enough information about its initial cost savings estimate. It provided limited documentation Wednesday on the new savings.

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