Aerials Clear Lake Opportunity Village - One Vision

One Vision in Clear Lake. 

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette

CLEAR LAKE | Two North Iowa health care providers say their clients will feel little impact from the withdrawal of AmeriHealth Caritas from the state's Medicaid program.

One Vision and Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare both have clients and residents who are served by AmeriHealth Caritas.

AmeriHealth Caritas, which covers one in four Iowa Medicaid recipients, announced Tuesday it is pulling out of the state program at the end of the month.

"It's disappointing because it's just one more administrative headache like it was when privatization of the state program occurred 18 months ago," said Jeff Nichols, chief executive officer of One Vision. "It's like, here we go again."

He said One Vision is still served by United Healthcare and Amerigroup Iowa.

State officials said the more than 213,000 Iowans enrolled with AmeriHealth Caritas will be reassigned to the two remaining Medicaid insurers — United Healthcare and Amerigroup, both of which re-signed contracts with the state.

"I'm confident our services will continue with little impact on those we serve. There might be implications further down the road but our organization is in a very solid position," Nichols said.

From a practical standpoint, nothing should change for folks on the ground (clients)," he said. "They will continue to get day in, day out support."

Jay Hansen, executive director at Prairie Ridge, said AmeriHealth Caritas served well over half of Prairie Ridge's patients.

"It was the best company to work with and had the most favorable rates. The clients will all get reassigned to another company and there will be paperwork.

"A lot of our patients do not react well to transition and this is another transition," Hansen said. But he does not think it will result in disruption of services.



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