DRI Work Related COVID 19 Response

Starting March 16, 2020 and until at least March 31, 2020, DRI staff have been encouraged to work from home. During this time while we are working remotely, we will continue to be available by email during regular work hours and will be checking voicemail and mail daily. Our staff will continue to participate in as many client meetings and appointments as possible using phone calls, conference calls and Zoom technology. If meetings are unable to be hosted through technology, we will work to reschedule after social distancing protocols have been lifted.

Please contact our office ahead of time if you need to make arrangements to deliver documents or speak with someone before coming to our office location, as staff will not be available to receive walk-in’s at the office.

DRI phone: 515/278-2502, ext. 12

Disability Rights Iowa Statement about UHC Leaving Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2019

DRI Statement on UHC Leaving Iowa’s Privatized Medicaid

(Des Moines, Iowa) – March 29, 2019, UnitedHealthcare notified the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) that they would be leaving the private managed care system. For right now, Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) recipients are able to receive their services as usual until June 30, 2019. This change means that some LTSS recipients will soon be on their third Managed Care Organization (MCO) in three years. This level of upheaval and uncertainty has been a trademark of the privatized system since its inception.

In DRI’s experience, a state-run system for Iowans receiving Medicaid LTSS worked better than a private managed care system. We saw a significant increase in cuts to services when managed care started in 2016. Now, people live in fear of more cuts, service providers leaving the system because of lack of adequate and timely payment, and a constant state of change and uncertainty for members. The continual stress of advocating for necessary services and supports is especially exhausting for Iowans with disabilities who are trying to live their best lives. We hope that UnitedHealthcare members will be able to keep their service providers, but the future is unknown as of this moment.

The Future

The Iowa Department of Human Services should be sending out updated enrollment letters soon, since the ones that were recently sent are now obsolete because of the loss of UnitedHealthcare as an MCO. DRI will make sure to stay on top of this developing situation and keep everyone informed via our website and social media.

Managed Care Organizations should be held accountable to performance measures, and we hope that the state of Iowa keeps this as a priority when negotiating with the newest MCO, Iowa Total Care. Medicaid recipients deserve to receive adequate and continuous services from qualified providers without being confronted by cuts and inconsistent care. LTSS recipients deserve to be served by competent managed care providers. Service providers deserve to get paid for the work that they do. The state needs to make these realities the pillars of all future negotiations.

Steps to Take

For now, please refer to DRI’s guide to navigate managed care in Iowa for immediate steps to take. This guide covers how to be your own best advocate when dealing with MCOs and can be found on our website under the Resources > DRI Publications tab. If you receive an individual written notice of service cuts, contact us and we can help with the appeal process, regardless of which MCO is cutting services.

In addition to all of the work that DRI is doing to help individual LTSS recipients, we also want to help boost your voices and opinions on privatized managed care. In order to do that most effectively, we are going to revive our #IAmMedicaidIowa social media campaign. If you would like to participate in this campaign, please send or post pictures of you or a loved one who uses managed care holding a sign with #IAmMedicaidIowa. Along with the photos, please share a story using #IAmMedicaidIowa in the text of the post to amplify the campaign. DRI will share and repost your stories so that they can reach the widest possible audience. Your voices and stories deserve to be heard, MCOs should know the impact that their actions have on real Iowans who need services and supports to live a full, community involved life.

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Disability Rights Iowa aims to defend and promote the human and legal rights of Iowans who have disabilities and mental illness. DRI promotes safety, opportunity, access, and self-determination for all Iowans.

For more information call (515)-278-2502 x 20 or visit: www.driowa.org

 

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Disability Rights IOWA aims to defend and promote the human and legal rights of Iowans who have disabilities and mental illness. We promote safety, opportunity, access, and self-determination for all Iowans through a program of:

  • Self-advocacy education, information and referral
  • Non-legal advocacy
  • Legal and systems advocacy

Our legal and systems advocacy aims to resolve major issues called priorities. View our current Areas of Focus, or suggest Areas of Focus.

 

DRI is primarily funded through grants from federal agencies. Communications from DRI, including text, audio, or video used for advertising or educational purposes, including emails or internet postings, are printed, published, or produced and disseminated at U.S. taxpayer expense.