Iowa: Medicaid Managed Care Transition Faces New Challenges

CMS expressed significant concerns about Iowa’s implementation timeframe for transitioning to mandatory Medicaid managed on January 1, 2016. In order to receive federal approval on their waiver application, the State must demonstrate readiness for the transition through a gate review process. CMS will also conduct a series of listening sessions in November to hear from stakeholders impacted by the transition. Separately, the Iowa Hospital Association and 11 hospitals in the state filed a petition in the Polk County District Court requesting that the transition to managed care be suspended until the court can rule on the legality of using a tax on hospitals to fund managed care organizations.

Kansas: Coverage Expansion Supporters Look to Indiana for Possible Model

A coalition of 14 organizations supportive of expanding access to healthcare, including the Kansas Hospital Association, hosted an educational forum with Indiana hospital officials to review possible paths forward. Indiana hospital officials detailed how their State designed a Medicaid expansion program—the Healthy Indiana Plan—that met the unique needs of Indiana. Senate Vice President Jeff King (R) said that he is ready to discuss the policy details for coverage expansion, and the Kansas Hospital Association noted that a specific proposal is forthcoming from expansion advocates.