Auditor Says Iowa Saving Millions Thanks to Privatized Medicaid

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the state of Iowa likely saved more than $100 million thanks to privatized Medicaid management in the last year.  However a Story County Democrat says there’s something missing in her math.

Mosiman released a review of three different estimates of savings due to the state’s privately managed Medicaid system.

In January 2017 the Governor’s Office estimated savings under the new system to be $234 million.

In November 2017 the Iowa Department of Human Services estimated the savings at $47 million.

Then in May 2018 the DHS released a revised estimate, placing the savings at $141 million.

State Auditor Mosiman says there were flaws with the accounting that lead to the first two estimates.  However, Mosiman says the third estimate followed proper accounting practices and is the most accurate estimate.

State Representative Lisa Heddens, a Story County Democrat who is ranking member on the Human Services Budget Committee, says there is a big figure missing from the DHS estimate: denied services.

“The report does not include millions in unpaid claims that the out-of-state companies owe to providers or the services that have been denied to thousands of Iowans, including our seniors and those with disabilities,” Heddens wrote in a statement released Monday, “It`s time for the Legislature to work together and fix this broken system next session. Iowans deserve it.”

When Channel 13 spoke with Governor Kim Reynolds about the report she said she did not have time to take a look at the report yet, but privatization of Medicaid is not just about saving money and she believes her administration is on the right track.

“It’s not about the savings. It’s really about making sure we have a program that is sustainable. That’s a component of it, but we want to make sure we are taking care of our providers. They’re getting paid in a timely manner, but most importantly that Iowans are getting the services that they need and we are starting to get the outcomes that we hope for,” Gov. Reynolds said.