Declining reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare are behind the Madison County Health Department
‘s layoff of seven home-health employees last week. Director Nancy Crew said the cuts should not mean a reduction in care but that cuts were being made because “we’ve done all we can do without involuntary layoffs,” Bill Robinson of the Richmond Registe
r reports. The department’s MEPCO subsidiary, which has offered home-health services in Madison, Estill and Powell counties since 1974, has been under financial pressure for two years despite cutting costs and not filling eight now-vacant positions. It had a deficit last year of $610,000.
Only about 15 percent of MEPCO’s revenue comes from private insurance, said David Reed, the health department’s financial director. That leaves MEPCO with a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients at a time when those re-reimbursements often are denied by managed-care companies, Reed said. Challenging those denials is a complicated process, sometimes requiring going to court to recover costs.
The problem is not all with Medicaid. MEPCO’s Medicare reimbursements began a steep decline from nearly $3.24 million in 2008 to $2.55 million in 2012. (Read more)