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Sanford Health and Unity Point Health Announce Plans to Merge, 5:04

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South Dakota-based Sanford Health today announced a planned merger with West Des Moines based UnityPoint Health. Unity Point has a hospital and clinic in Sioux City.  The transaction should be complete by the end of this year, pending regulatory reviews. The merger would make the company one of the 15 largest non-profit health systems in the country. 

Today marks the first day Iowa Total Care joins the state’s Medicaid system as a managed care organization. the company will be the state’s second MCO along with Amerigroup.

About 425,000 Iowans are transitioning to Iowa Total Care or Amerigroup this month after United Healthcare left the state in June.

State Medicaid Director Mike Randol says the Department of Human Services has worked to make the transition “seamless” for recipients.

Randols says patients can continue to go to their doctor on July 1 and get their prescriptions. Randol says if members are unhappy with their assigned MCO, they can still switch companies for any reason.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today that police can continue to charge drivers with crimes they weren't initially stopped for, a practice civil rights groups say is racial discrimination.

The court was considering the case of  African American woman Waterloo, who was convicted of drunken driving and driving with a suspended license. Her car was stopped in October 2015 for having a deficient license plate light and going through an intersection as a light turned red.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that repairs to flood-damaged levees and other infrastructure along the Platte and Missouri Rivers will cost far in excess of $1 billion dollars .

A Corps spokesman says so far, the projects deemed eligible for federal funding will cost at least that much. The Corps has received more than 150 project applications, and more are expected to roll in.

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