KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Iowa’s Medicaid Program Continues Move Toward Privatization

News outlets report on Iowa's continuing privatization transition. Also in the news, the latest on Alabama's Medicaid waiver.

The Des Moines Register: Is Medicaid Ready For March 1 Private Management Shift?
Iowa Medicaid leaders told skeptical lawmakers Tuesday that they’re confident they will be able to shift the program to private management on March 1. Federal officials blocked Iowa from implementing the controversial plan Jan. 1, saying managed care companies weren't prepared to handle the 560,000 Iowans who use the program. The feds ordered Iowa to wait until at least March 1 to make the change. They have yet to say if they’ll allow the shift to proceed in two weeks. (Leys, 2/16)

Kaiser Health News: Alabama Puts Hospitals At Forefront Of Medicaid Managed Care
Despite having one of the strictest eligibility requirements in the country, Alabama has struggled to control the rising costs of Medicaid, which provides health coverage to more than 1 million residents. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a popular two-term Republican governor, and a dermatologist, is offering an unusual cure. The state last week won federal approval to shift most of its Medicaid recipients into managed care organizations, which are paid a fixed monthly fee from the state for each person in the plan. (Galewitz, 2/17)

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