Working to address state Medicaid issues

CAPITOL LETTERS

BY STATE SENATOR MARK SEGEBART

R-District 6

Week two started with a blizzard and back to the frigid temps. As I write this, temperatures have warmed significantly.

Things have warmed up at the Capitol as well.  Many subcommittees are meeting and bills are beginning to advance through the process of becoming laws.  As the chairman of one of seventeen standing committees, bills that are assigned to my standing committee come to me for assignment. Members of my committee are assigned to a three member subcommittee which reviews the bill and either approves it for further debate or disapproves it, which ends debate on that bill for the year.

I have been very busy listening to bill supporters and non-supporters all this week. It makes the days go by very quickly. I had a visit from Jen Daniel. She works at New Hope in Carroll and was there in support of disability services.

The switch from a fee for service method of payment to a managed care organization has lowered the reimbursement rates for almost all Medicaid funded services in Iowa. This issue occupies the bulk of my time and has no easy answers. I had the new director of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Jerry Foxhoven, speak to my committee on Wednesday. The room was full with many cameras to hear what he had to say.  He has spent a lot of time renegotiating contracts with the two remaining MCO’s. He has spent a lot of his legal career working on children’s issues and has a good understanding of the functions of the Dept. of Human Services and it’s 4,000 employees.

My clerk for this year is again Sue Grove. She lives in Van Meter and was my clerk last year.  She is also a registered nurse which comes in very helpful when there are medical issues that come through my committee.

Have a great week!

I currently serve as the chair on the Human Resources Committee, and serve on the Agriculture, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs Committees. Additionally, I am the vice chair of the Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee. Please feel free to contact me at 515-281-3371 or by email at mark.segebart@ legis.iowa.gov.