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Bill to Reform Iowa’s Medicaid System Proposed

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two senate Democrats are proposing some big changes to Iowa's privatized Medicaid system.

Thursday morning, senators Amanda Ragan of Mason City and Liz Mathis of Hiawatha introduced the Senate Democrat Medicaid Improvement Bill.

They say they want to upgrade the current system by improving access to care, ensuring payment to healthcare providers, and keeping the program as a whole focused on patients.

The bill would bring back elements of the older Medicaid system, such as creating a publicly managed long-term care service.

They say it would keep the system from denying care to Iowans living with permanent conditions.

The bill would also allow Iowans struggling with addiction to get medication assisted treatment without prior authorization from their insurance.

“You talk to any substance abuse provider, they're going to tell you that when you have an opportunity to help someone that you need to do something immediately,” said Sen. Amanda Ragan.

The bill would also implement new review processes for claims that have been denied and make it easier for doctors to switch the managed care organization they contract with.

It also sets up independent advocates for Iowans through the State Ombudsman’s Office.

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