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Large Contract Payment to Private Medicaid Providers Raises Concern, Sioux County Text Scam, 4:32

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The Iowa Department of Human Services will pay an additional $386 million to two insurance companies that will provide Medicaid services for the 2020 fiscal year. DHS says the rates include changes made by the Iowa Legislature, which account for about 2 percent of the increase. Last year the agency approved a $344 million increase over the previous year.

Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending contract payment. But Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen says the new contracts are “outrageous” and says Republican lawmakers can’t back up claims that privatized Medicaid management is saving money.  

The state privatized the Medicaid program in 2016 with then-Gov. Terry Branstad promising cost savings and improved care. Democrats say neither goal has been accomplished amid the turmoil that included two insurers dropping out and last month's sudden resignation of DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven.

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office warning area residents about a scam. Apparently, there are text messages circulating from people claiming to be pastors seeking gift cards. 

The "pastor" sends texts asking the recipient to buy gift cards and send the gift card number. The "pastor" claims to have a friend in the hospital ill with cancer. 

The texts are a scam, and the Sioux County Sheriff's Office warns against replying to the messages or providing any information. 

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