DES MOINES, Iowa - A survey from the state auditor's office shows widespread dissatisfaction among health care providers with the privatized Medicaid system.
The survey released by Auditor Rob Sand shows 83 percent of hospitals are dissatisfied with the private system's timely and accurate payment for services. It also shows health care providers think the system is inappropriately restrictive by a 5-1 margin, and that services for patients are increasingly being denied.
Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol released a statement responding to the survey, “We value the feedback from all Iowa Medicaid providers and have continued to implement improvements to our program based directly on their feedback," said Randol.
Randol announced in the last week that he's stepping down to take a job in private business.
Medicaid in Iowa provides healthcare for 700,000 poor and disabled people.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad started its privatization by hiring private national companies to manage the Medicaid program in 2015. Those companies are known as Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). Before that time, health care providers billed the state Department of Human Services directly for services provided, on a "fee-for-service" basis.
Since then,health care providers have complained that the MCO's have not made payments on time, and have denied services at an increasing rate.
In the survey, Sands said each MCO sets its own standards for services it covers and pays for. He recommended the state set a single set of policies and procedures for each MCO to follow.