Democrats Question Accuracy Of Projected Medicaid Savings

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Iowa's privatized Medicaid system is projected to save nearly three times the initial cost savings estimates.

Medicaid Director Mike Randol explained how he calculated those numbers in a meeting Wednesday.

Some are questioning whether they are accurate.

“I don’t think anyone in the room felt there was clear answer as to where the savings were," Democrat State Senator Amanda Ragan said.

In just over twenty minutes, Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol rolled out projected saving estimates for this fiscal budget.

The amount tax payers are projected to save from managed care tripled from $47 million at the end of 2017 to $141 million two months ago.

“It’s not just about the money we were asked to provide a methodology on how we calculate cost avoidance or cost savings," Director Medicaid Mike Randol said.

Democrat State Senator Pam Jochum says that explanation isn’t good enough.

“Go through the details and provide far more detail than what was just given to use today, that is the right of the tax payer,” State Senator Pam Jochum said.

Nearly 600,000 low income and disabled Iowans depend on Medicaid.

Back in 2015, former Governor Branstad made a shift to privatized Medicaid, saying it would stabilized care for those Iowans, all while projecting a savings of $232 million  in this fiscal year.

Randol was unavailable for comment after the meeting but, his office released this statement.

                     The Department is working closely with the MCOs to ensure prompt and appropriate payment to Medicaid providers. While we’re hearing from                                                           providers that claims are being paid more timely, and the situation is improving, there may be some older outstanding claims that the MCOs are                                                        working to resolve. The Department will continue to monitor this and is committed to providing strong oversight of our managed care partners. 

 Senator Pam Jochum asked for an independent audit into Medicaid's health records and finances.