Insurer Pulling Out Of Iowa’s Medicaid Program Says It Was Skeptical Of Data On Payments

State officials refused to provide data used to justify Medicaid payment rates to AmeriHealth Caritas, the company says, prompting it to leave the program and lay off 400 workers. In other Medicaid news, a look at how cutbacks in Texas have affected disabled children, and in Indiana, enrollees who are students at Purdue face troubles with costs for services at the student health center.


Des Moines Register:
Skepticism Over Iowa’s Medicaid Math Led AmeriHealth To Pull Out


Iowa state officials refused to provide data used to justify Medicaid payment rates to a private management company that canceled its contract with the state this week, according to documents obtained by the Des Moines Register. The state’s response prompted AmeriHealth Caritas to accuse Iowa of using inaccurate information to justify low payments and ultimately resulted in AmeriHealth ending its 18-month run as one of three private companies managing the state’s $4.2 billion program, documents show. (Clayworth, 11/2)


The Associated Press:
State Agency: Private Insurance Company Announces Layoffs


A private insurance company that is exiting Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program and has employees around the state will lay off 400 workers, an agency confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday. Iowa Workforce Development said AmeriHealth Caritas informed the department recently about the layoffs, which are permanent. They will begin Dec. 31 and continue into 2018. Additional information about the workers, including whether they’re all based in Iowa, was not provided. (Rodriguez, 11/3)


Austin American-Statesman:
How Texas Medicaid Is Failing Children With Disabilities


Medicaid services for Texas children with some of the severest disabilities have sharply declined over the past few years after state leaders enacted several measures to cut costs. … Between February and May, 12 percent of children with the severest disabilities were denied Medicaid services, triple the overall rate of 2016, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. “This therapy is crucial. It’s my only link to get my child back. It’s my only hope,” Jenny Robson said through tears. Her 10-year-old son, Ben Sears, who is covered by Medicaid, was hit by a truck outside of their Mueller home last year and has been denied weekly physical and occupational therapy, even though he’s unable to stand, talk or eat without a feeding tube. (Chang, 11/2)


Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier:
Why Some Purdue Students Don’t Have Easy Access To Birth Control, STI Testing


Martasia [Carter] is an undergraduate student at Purdue and she’s working her way through college. She is also on Medicaid, which makes it more difficult and costly to receive services from [the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH)]. While PUSH would never turn away a Medicaid patient, and all PUSH visits are at no charge to a full-time enrolled student, PUSH is not able to bill Medicaid for lab work or further treatment for students, Brian Zink, senior director of news and information at Purdue, said. This means that should a student on Medicaid receive these services they would pay the entire cost out of pocket. (Ambrose, 11/2)


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