KHN Morning Briefing

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Iowa Will Be Ready For Medicaid Privatization Switch, State Official Says

Iowa Medicaid Director Mikki Stier says she is "very confident" that the state will be ready to transfer its Medicaid program to private management starting March 1. Meanwhile in Kansas, an audit finds that new computer system for Medicaid enrollment will save far less than the $300 million that was estimated.

Iowa Public Radio: Iowa's Medicaid Director "Very Confident" State Will Be Ready For Privatization March 1
With six weeks to go before Iowa’s Medicaid program is tentatively scheduled to become privately managed, Medicaid Director Mikki Stier says she's "very confident" Iowa will be ready. The federal government delayed the state's plans to privatize Medicaid on New Year's Day, despite Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa's Department of Human Services insisting the state was ready to make the switch. (Boden, 1/26)

The Associated Press: Medicaid Official: Iowa Is Ready For Privatization In March
The head of Iowa's Medicaid program on Monday said she's "very confident" the $4.2 billion system will be ready for private management beginning March 1, though some lawmakers expressed lingering concerns about the looming deadline. Mikki Stier from the Iowa Department of Human Services told lawmakers her confidence came from more signups of Medicaid health providers to join the new managed care system, as well as better communication to Medicaid recipients about the switch. (Rodriguez, 1/26)

The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Audit Says Medicaid Enrollment System Will Save Millions Less Than Expected
A new computer system for enrolling Kansans in Medicaid and other public assistance programs will generate far less than the expected $300 million in savings, a Legislative Post Audit report found. The Kansas Eligibility Enforcement System (KEES) was intended to be a central portal where people could apply for benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and cash assistance, and the state could automatically verify their eligibility. (Hart, 1/25)

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