Iowa Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer says the state is proceeding with a controversial plan to privatize the state’s health care program for the poor and disabled, in spite of a legal challenge by unsuccessful bidders for the contract.
An administrative law judge will rule on complaints of irregularities in the choice of four companies to manage the more than four-billion dollar Medicaid program.
Palmer says they’re proceeding with what they know.
“We'll operate from whatever we need to in response to that decision,” Palmer says.
Palmer says he hopes the ruling happens soon.
“I don't know when but sooner rather than later,” Palmer says.
The federal government is reviewing Iowa’s plan to privatize the program. Federal officials are hearing complaints from patients and providers that the January 1st target date for privatization is unrealistic.
Health care providers are signing contracts with the successful bidders and enrollment packets have been sent out to Medicaid patients.
Some hospitals say they will lose money under the privatization plan.