It’s no secret that Iowans have more complex care needs as our population ages. And as the hospital for the State of Iowa, UI Health Care provides care for all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
On a space-constrained campus, there are more patients who need us than our space and available beds allow today. These factors have led UI Health Care to develop plans so that we can continue providing care for those who need us most, including those enrolled in Medicaid.
Some of the ways we’re planning to address this challenge of increasing access to our services include:
- The new campus in North Liberty, which is currently being constructed.
- New patient care and academic facilities as part of the university’s 10-year campus master plan.
- Several projects to expand and modernize our current facilities to address our immediate bed capacity shortage, including expansions in the Emergency Department and Observation Unit.
To continue our mission to care for all Iowans and increase access to our services, UI Health Care has partnered with Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the State of Iowa in a federal program that provides supplemental funding for our role as the state’s safety net hospital and one of the largest providers of Medicaid services in Iowa. UI Health Care joins 36 states that also participate in this program.
The funding from this program will be specifically directed to increase access to UI Health Care services. A critical component of increasing access includes expanding and modernizing UI Health Care facilities. Overall timely access to care for Medicaid patients, including access to maternal and mental health services, will be monitored as part of this program.
Updates on the new campus in North Liberty
Although the North Liberty project is still very early in the construction process, we recently began receiving bids for the large scope of work that remains to be done. These bids are higher than anticipated, and there are a number of factors for this that are outside of our control, including inflation, increased labor costs, and supply chain issues.
As previously planned, the North Liberty campus will be funded by financing and revenue from patient care. And now, Medicaid directed payments will be used to increase access to UI Health Care services—including the North Liberty campus.
We are committed to moving forward with the North Liberty campus and other important projects, pending Board of Regents approval, because it’s the right thing to do for Iowans.