Medicaid woes hurt small Idaho businesses - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Medicaid woes hurt small Idaho businesses

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Social services providers in Idaho that rely on Medicaid to cover care for their clients are seeing their bottom lines come under pressure. The total $1.55 billion Medicaid budget for 2011 set by the Legislature last month is 3.5 percent below the previous year's original levels.

And during the current fiscal year, the Department of Health and Welfare is delaying payments to providers, in a bid to manage previous funding cuts, the Idaho Statesman reports. Companies like Communicare, which operates group homes in Boise, Nampa, Kuna, Weiser and Jerome, get nearly all of their money from the state-federal health insurance program for low-income patients.

Now, Communicare plans to lay off the equivalent of six full-time employees to make ends meet. Administrator Tom Whittemore says he's trying to balance cuts with protecting client safety.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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