University of Iowa News Release
Oct. 21, 2004
MEDIA ADVISORY: Reporters Covering MACIT Red Oak Meeting Encouraged To Contact Hospital
Media who are planning to attend the Medical Assistance Crisis Intervention Team (MACIT) meeting in Red Oak on Tuesday, Oct. 26, are encouraged to contact Dave Jennings, public relations director at Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, at 712-623-7185.
The MACIT, which is examining Medicaid costs in the face of tight state revenues, will meet in the hospital's lower level from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend and comment. Public comment periods are planned from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 to 3 p.m.
The meeting will feature presentations on the state's financial condition and Medicaid managed care. In addition, the team will identify the content it wants to include in its final report. Materials presented by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to the MACIT at previous meetings are available in the publications section of the DHS web site at http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/publications.asp. Minutes and submitted materials can be found at http://www.uiowa.edu/~govrel/macit/index.html.
MACIT was created by legislation approved earlier this year by the Iowa General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Tom Vilsack because of the escalating cost of the Medicaid program in the face of constrained state revenues.
Medicaid is a program that pays for medical assistance for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. The program became law in 1965 and is jointly funded by the federal and state governments to assist states in providing medical and long-term care assistance to people who meet certain eligibility criteria.
Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income. In fiscal year 2004-05, Medicaid expenditures in Iowa are expected to be nearly $2 billion, of which $568 million will come from the state. The federal government will fund the remainder in the current fiscal year, but changes are being contemplated for the level of federal funding that will be provided in the future. These changes include possible elimination of the use of intergovernmental transfers that allow states to leverage additional federal dollars.
After gathering information and public opinion about the medical assistance program, by Dec. 1, MACIT will submit a report to the General Assembly that includes projections of costs for the Medicaid program through June 30, 2008. The initial source of these projections will be the Iowa Department of Human Services. MACIT may also provide recommendations on services, eligibility, rates, care management and program administration.
Drop boxes will be provided at the meeting location for individuals who do not wish to speak publicly or who want to comment anonymously. In addition, comments may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Medicaid Public Comment, 105 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242.
"I hope that anyone who has an idea about the future of Medicaid will take the opportunity to come to one of the meetings or provide their comments via e-mail or regular mail," said UI President David Skorton, the committee chair. "This is a problem that affects every Iowan, so we need Iowans' help in crafting the appropriate responses."
Skorton, a cardiologist, is co-founder and co-director of the UI Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Other members of the Medical Assistance Crisis Intervention Team and their alternates are:
--Dana Holland, Ottumwa, president of the Iowa Health Care Association.
Alternate: Steve Ackerson, West Des Moines, IHCA executive director.
The group's final meeting will be held Nov. 19 in Des Moines.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, email@example.com.