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United announced it would take over the care coordination for some Iowans with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in integrated health homes (IHH), giving providers and members only two weeks notice.  After legislative, provider, and member outrage over the change, DHS announced last week it would "pause" any changes to the Health Home program for six months.  

Over the next several months, DHS will work with MCOs, providers, and members to review the health home program, review data, find out what is working, and work on areas that are not performing as expectred. DHS said its goal is to leave those programs that are meeting expectations alone, but put those not doing well on notice to improve.

But this six-month pause might not be enough for some Senators.  Mike Randol, the state’s new Medicaid director, faced tough questions from several committees and subcommittees last week.  Sen. Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) and Sen. Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City) decided to pass and amend Senate File 2092, which does not allow MCOs to do health home care coordination on their own and gives Medicaid members the opportunity to choose their health home.  

Senators Chelgren and Ragan amended the bill during subcommittee to prohibit any changes to the health home program for one year, giving legislators time to review any changes before they are made.  The bill should be ready for committee action sometime in the coming week.