A little potpourri-mix for this piece.
Thanks to the families, guardians, and residential staff of consumers in our Nebraska day habilitation programs for their patience and generosity. On Oct. 1, we fully internalized transportation for around 150 of those consumers, ending the outsourcing with First Student and ZTrip. There were, shall we say, ‘hiccups’, as our brand-new transportation department worked through schedule accommodations and such.
Within this note, I also have to recognize Transportation Supervisor David Lantz and his crackerjack team of new drivers who did their best to work through the hiccups and get our consumers transported as close to promised timeframes as possible, and more importantly, safely.
With the advent, in 2017, of for-profit managed care organizations (MCOs) in Iowa handling the State’s nearly $5 billion in annual Medicaid funds, long term support services (LTSS) providers such as Vodec have had to make some adjustments. Most of our services are funded by Medicaid. Nearly all the funds for services flow through the MCOs. As a result, LTSS providers have experienced financial disruptions from claims for payments that were late to be paid or denied altogether.
Having learned the hard lessons, we’ve had to react accordingly to reduce risk. We now are the ‘heavies’ requiring that each Iowa consumer is assigned to an MCO, is approved for Medicaid, and has a service authorization in-force. Shy of even one of those, we will not be paid for providing service. Before the time of MCOs, we could negotiate with a consumer’s home county or region. Not so with an MCO. And I know, it’s just business. But it has become part of our business not to provide service we cannot be paid for. So, for Iowans impacted by this new normal, I’m sorry.
Providing Services in Pella
In December, a new home opens in Pella, Iowa, for four persons with disabilities. I am humbled that Vodec was invited by the local Forward with Faith (FWF) nonprofit organization to be the service provider. Forward with Faith members raised all the money to build the new home. FWF was founded to help provide family-style homes with full-time caregivers -a place called “home” where social, physical, and emotional needs are met. Vodec has been hiring employees to work in the home. This will be an extension of our services offered from our Urbandale, Iowa, office. We look forward to a rewarding relationship with the FWF organization.
The un-asked question is, why Vodec? The answer is, I believe, because Vodec provides quality services by caring people in safe and nurturing settings.
- Steve Hodapp