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Local hospital network UnityPoint Health has reached an agreement with Iowa Medicaid provider Iowa Total Care, the company announced Friday.

The deal comes a few weeks before the on-boarding of Iowa Total Care on July 1, which became necessary when UnitedHealthcare announced it would pull out of Iowa Medicaid effective June 30. 

"UnityPoint Health is pleased to share it will be in-network for both IA Health Link plan options, Amerigroup and Iowa Total Care, when changes to the state’s Medicaid program are effective July 1," a UnityPoint Health statement says. "A contract with Iowa Total Care was finalized this week. Iowa Medicaid members who use UnityPoint Health doctors, services and hospitals can continue their care as usual regardless of which plan they were assigned."

The agreement will provide some level of comfort to local Medicaid providers and patients, who had been concerned about a lack of providers that accept Iowa Total Care.

In May, after a Medicaid town hall held in Davenport by the Department of Human Services, UnityPoint Health Vice president of Governmental and External Affairs Sabra Rosener said UnityPoint was committed to improving healthcare in Iowa. "UnityPoint Health will consider working with any managed care organization participating in the IA Health Link program," Rosener said at that time. "We currently have contracts with Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare, and are working toward a contract to be part of the Iowa Total Care provider network."

During the May town hall, Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol had touted the number of providers that had signed onto Iowa Total Care. 

"We will expect Iowa Total Care to have network adequacy in provider types in three different regions of the state, and we will make sure that they adhere to that," Randol said when asked whether Genesis Health System would accept Iowa Total Care. UnityPoint Health did not come up during that meeting.

Genesis Health System, the other major hospital network in the area, is also working on a contract with Iowa Total Care. 

"We are currently still negotiating with Total Care, working toward getting a contract signed so that we would be a part of their network," Genesis government and community relations officer Henry Marquard said earlier this week, adding there were still a few "big hangups" to be resolved. "It is our hope that we will get those resolved hopefully soon."

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