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DHS Announces Public Comment Period for Iowa High Quality Health Care Initiative Federal Waivers

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The Iowa Department of Human Services formally announces the public comment period for changes to Medicaid waivers, related to the Iowa High Quality Health Care Initiative. The Iowa Department of Human Services will hold public hearings on the following waivers that will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement the Iowa High Quality Health Care Initiative, as part of the State’s Medicaid Managed Care program. Through this initiative, the State will contract with private health organizations for delivery of high quality health care services for the majority of current populations and services in the Iowa Medicaid program. Impacted waivers include:

  • §1915(b) High Quality Healthcare Initiative Waiver (New Waiver)
  • §1915(c) HCBS Intellectual Disabilities Waiver (Amendment)
  • §1915(c) HCBS Children’s Mental Health Waiver (Amendment)
  • §1915(c) HCBS Elderly Waiver (Amendment)
  • §1115 Iowa Wellness Plan Demonstration Waiver (Amendment)
  • §1115 Family Planning Demonstration Waiver (Amendment)


Hearings offer an opportunity for the public to provide written or verbal comments about the above-mentioned waivers. Access information regarding the dates and locations for the public hearings through the informational flyer.


Comments will be accepted for 35 days. The comment period closes Friday, August 21, 2015. Written comments may be addressed to:

Rick Riley
Department of Human Services
Iowa Medicaid Enterprise
100 Army Post Road
Des Moines, IA 50315. 

Comments may also be sent via electronic mail to the attention of: DHS, High Quality Healthcare Initiative at


Access the full public notice as well as the waiver documents for more information. Waiver documents can be found in the Federal Waiver Documents section of the Medicaid Modernization web page.


To address the enrollment of individuals on Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers into managed care, DHS will be submitting for CMS approval, amendments to all seven State HCBS waiver programs. However, all of the State’s current HCBS waivers, with the exception of the Intellectual Disabilities, Children’s Mental Health and Elderly Waivers made available pursuant to this notice, are currently under review by CMS. The four waivers currently under review are unrelated to the Initiative and were submitted for renewal and/or approval of settings transition plans in the fall of 2014. As such, DHS is only publishing amendments to its Intellectual Disabilities, Children’s Mental Health and Elderly Waivers at this time. It is expected that DHS will post the amendments for the AIDS/HIV, Brain Injury, Physical Disability and Health and Disability waivers to implement managed care in the next 30 days. A public comment period will begin for those specific amendments.  


Information on Medicaid Modernization can be found on the dedicated web page at: