Insurer UnitedHealthcare has announced it will leave Iowa's Medicaid market over the next several months amid disagreements with state officials over payments and performance requirements.
The withdrawal of UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will leave the state's 400,000 Medicaid recipients with two choices for managing their care: Amerigroup of Iowa and Iowa Total Care, a subsidiary of Centene Corp. The timeline of the withdrawal is still being determined, according to officials, meaning UHC members can continue to see their current providers.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday said that she ended negotiations with Minnesota-based UHC after the company made additional demands that she "believed to be unreasonable and unsustainable." Those included a provision that would remove pay-for-performance requirements from their contract.
The state last year approved an increase of $344 million in support to UHC and Amerigroup - $103 million which came from the state's coffers - to help stabilize the system, which former Gov. Terry Branstad instituted in 2016 with a goal of reducing costs and improving care. 
Critics have since assailed the system since its inception, however, saying the managed care organizations (MCOs) have cut services and been slow to pay providers. The state in assessed $1.5 million in penalties against the state's MCOs in late 2017 for failing to meet performance standards.
UHC is the second company to leave the state's Medicaid program since its launch. AmeriHealth Caritas left in 2017, citing hundreds of millions in losses in the program.
Ms. Reynolds pledged to work closely with UHC in the coming months to minimize disruption, and ensure a smooth transition for Medicaid patients.
The Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District has named Abby Huff as its new executive director.
Ms. Huff was most recently a preservation and incentives specialist at Hobart Historic Restoration in Cedar Rapids, and previously served as executive director of the Main Street program and as chamber and economic development director for Story City, located in central Iowa. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a bachelor's degree in interior design from the University of Northern Iowa.
She succeeds Jennifer Pruden, who left the role in February to become a project manager for a commercial real estate management service in Cedar Rapids.
"This role is so important for our growing district, and also our community," Scott Kruger, president of the Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District board, said in a release. "Abby's passion for this community and this role, makes her a perfect match for the organization's next chapter."
The Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District was established in 2009, with a mission of encouraging economic growth and promoting preservation in the Cedar Rapids neighborhood.
Des Moines-based furniture and office solutions company Storey Kenworthy has acquired Rite Price Office Supply in Oelwein.
Rite Price was founded in 1979 by Richard Price, and purchased by Tom and Jill Kleppe and Todd and JoDee Granberg in March 1995. It serves customers in northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin. The Kleppes will continue to manage the Oelwein location, and current Rite Price employees have been offered jobs with Storey Kenworthy.
The acquisition will create the 12th Iowa location for Storey Kenworthy, which is the state's largest family-owned, independent office supply and furniture dealer. It last purchased Monkeytown, a family-owned office supply company based in Vinton, in September 2017.
"Our ability to continue growing while the overall market for office products is shrinking reflects Storey-Kenworthy's ability to react quickly as the market undergoes rapid consolidation, and our unique ability to serve all the furniture and office products needs of companies large and small," President John Kenworthy said in a statement.

Findings from the new J.D. Power Personal Loan Satisfaction study. CREDIT J.D. POWER 
Record levels of credit card debt, rising interest rates and a proliferation of alternative lenders are making personal loans the fastest-growing category of consumer debt products, the Des Moines Business Record reports.

According to the
J.D. Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study released last week, many of these alternative lenders are upping the ante on customer satisfaction by outperforming lenders that provide more traditional loan types, such as home equity lines of credit (HELOC), through superior digital experiences and lightning-fast approval times. However, alternative lenders still face negative customer perceptions about reasonableness of fees.

The inaugural survey found that digital has become the most common channel used for personal loan applications, with 40 percent of personal loan customers applying entirely online. The U.S. personal loan market was estimated at $141 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow steadily.

The study, based on responses from 3,413 personal loan customers, was conducted in December and January. It evaluated customer satisfaction with personal loan providers and explores the key variables that influence customer choice, satisfaction and loyalty based on four factors, which in order of importance are: interaction; billing and payment; loan offerings and terms; and application and approval process. 
Read the full story at  

Close to 160 students from 10 junior highs and middle schools in Eastern Iowa will attend the first-annual Build My Future-ACE Career Day & Industry Showcase on Tuesday at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. 
Hosted by the ACE Sector Board, the event will give seventh and eighth-grade students an opportunity to spend a day in the construction industry through an interactive showcase.
Hands-on learning labs will be led by volunteers from area construction companies, including construction industry practices, such as carpentry, plumbing, heavy equipment, masonry, drywall and more. There also will be educational displays and equipment operations.
"Perhaps the biggest challenge for builders and general contractors right now is the lack of skilled workers," ACE Sector Board member Tim Ruth, of McCreedy-Ruth Construction, said in a press release. "Informing students about the construction trade while they're in junior high allows them time to learn more about the field, find what peaks their interests and explore throughout high school how it can be a viable choice for them. Our hope is in the end they will go into the field."
The Build My Future is the second of four such events being held across Iowa this spring, supported by $10,000 grant from the National Association of Home Builders. The Quad Cities Home Builders and Remodelers Association held the first March 7, while the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Des Moines and the HBA of Greater Siouxland will host theirs on April 17 and 25, respectively.

A brief in the March 29 Business Daily inadvertently omitted several large Corridor employers from a list of companies named the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Alliant Energy, Cargill, General Mills, GoDaddy, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, RSM US LLP and Whirlpool all received perfect scores of 100 in the latest survey from the HRC. We regret the error. 
April 3
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more . Free. For more information, visit .
April 4
Women of Influence, by the Corridor Business Journal, 5-8 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 350 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids. The 15th-annual Women of Influence awards identify and honor women who have made a difference as role models and leaders in their fields and community. Tickets: $55, or $550 for a table of 10. For more information, visit
Shaking the Money Tree, by SCORE East Central Iowa, 6-7:30 p.m., Cedar Rapids Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW. This workshop will explore funding sources and how business owners should prepare themselves to take advantage of funding opportunities. Free. To register, visit
See and Be Seen

In the CBJ Book of Lists -THE definitive resource guide for business leaders. Ranked information on Corridor companies by sector, regional market facts and profiles of the most influential people under one cover.  Don't be left out - Be Seen For advertising information, contact Andrea Rhoades at
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
A building on the Collins Aerospace campus in Cedar Rapids was evacuated out of precaution after receiving a threat on Monday. Cedar Rapids Police told CBS2/FOX28 News that a bomb threat was called into the Collins Aerospace Recreation Center around 8:15 a.m. The caller said an explosive device was already inside the building. A spokesperson for Collins Aerospace told CBS2/FOX28 News over the phone that everyone made it out of the building safe. The building was cleared by police in about 90 minutes, and people were allowed back inside. Police are investigating the incident.

The Linn County Sheriff's Department is investigating a death in Toddville. Police received a call for a reported burglary at 3689 Toddville Road at 10:23 p.m. The suspect never entered the house. Police then found a man unconscious in the backyard of the home. He later died at the hospital. The investigation is still ongoing.

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

A cold front will begin to move closer to the area today and bring in warmer air ahead of it. Temperatures will climb into the low to mid 50s with a strong southwest wind through the day. Clouds will thicken up tonight and showers will develop through the night as the front moves through. The previously mentioned cold front will move fairly quickly. Rain showers will continue into the morning and clear out by noon. Rain accumulation looks fairly light across the area and will not lead to further issues on area rivers. Temperatures will remain in the low to mid 50s.