Medical Center signs with United Healthcare as first MCO agreement

Greene County Medical Center finalized a contract with United Healthcare, one of three identified managed care organizations (MCOs) for Iowa’s Medicaid managed care program, scheduled to begin March 1.

In late December, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the starting date of the new managed care program, Iowa Health Link, until March 1, 2016. CMS must still assess Iowa’s readiness for rolling out the program on March 1.

In the meantime, Iowa medical facilities are preparing for the start and have the choice of three out-of-state companies to contract with. The contract with United Healthcare is the first of the three Greene County Medical Center is working to complete.

With the anticipated March 1 date, this ensures Medicaid recipients with United Healthcare coverage can receive covered care at the medical center. Emergency care for all Medicaid patients will continue to fall under EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) guidelines.

The medical center is continuing negotiations with the other MCOs, AmeriHealth and AmeriGroup. Visiting specialists and UnityPoint Clinic are conducting their own negotiations and will not be part of the medical center’s arrangements. Medicaid recipients are encouraged to communicate directly with their individual providers.

Chief executive officer Carl Behne emphasized that, “Our first priority is caring for all of our patients, and that is what we will do during this period of transition, regardless of their Medicaid provider situation.”

Medicaid recipients were automatically put into one of the three provider groups, but have the option to change their provider up until May 18, 2016. Recipients who have questions or are interested in changing providers are encouraged to contact Iowa Medicaid Member Services for assistance or with questions. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, at 1-800-338-8366.

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