The decision by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week to delay privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid program is a victory for Medicaid recipients and providers.
Thousands of Iowans have been telling us this for months: the Branstad/Reynolds privatization plan attempts to do too much, too fast, and fails to protect vulnerable Iowans.
A letter from CMS Director Vikki Wachino states: “CMS previously outlined the requirements to provide high quality, accessible care to Medicaid beneficiaries, and Iowa has not yet met those requirements, meaning that a transition on January 1 would risk serious disruptions in care for Iowa Medicaid beneficiaries.”
Specific concerns raised by CMS include:
* Arbitrary and unrealistic implementation timeline
* Failure to establish adequate provider networks in advance
* Disruptions of longstanding patient-provider relationships
* Diminished quality and access to health care services
* Compromised patient care
* Inadequate communication with patients and providers
Despite the 60-day delay, the fight is not over. Hundreds of thousands of Iowans and their providers are still struggling to make sense of the changes the Governor is making to their health care. We must find a way to minimize the harm being imposed on Iowa families and health care providers.
Read the complete letter from CMS here.
Sadly this is only a delay. The CMS is disposed toward eventually approving this plan. Therefore please contact any Iowa Senate Democrat to let them know you stand behind their opposition.