BOISE -- Some local businesses that rely on Medicaid reimbursement say they're on the verge of having to close their doors. That is because the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recently changed how medical providers get reimbursed for treating Medicaid patients.
The state originally gave businesses a deadline to enroll in the new program, some say they were on time, but still aren t receiving any reimbursements.
To say it'll be fixed is one thing, to make payroll tomorrow is a complete different story, said Stephanie Whipps who owns the Idaho Center for Autism in Boise.
Whipps says recently it's been a struggle to keep her doors open, the reason is the Idaho Department ofHealth and Welfare's new Medicaid reimbursement system called MMIS, which is run by a company called Molina.
We started submitting claims and all of the claims kept coming back, said Whipps.
Whipps says her company was prepared for the month of June when the state announced in a cost-saving measure they wouldn't pay out Medicaid claims, but now says after almosttwo months of not getting paid -- she's desperate.
I work 80 hours a week and I've done it for years -- no time off, and I gladly do it, I just need them to pay on the claims -- the services that we've provided, said Whipps.
Whipps now says they're staying open on a day-to-day basis, which worries many parents who rely on her services.
For my boy it would be, I don't want to say detrimental, but that's the word that comes to mind, said Cori Dalton a concerned parent whose son attends the Idaho Center for Autism.
Yeah, things do happen and I'm not unsympathetic to the complications of a system like this, but hopefully they're not unsympathetic to the importance of this therapy for my child, said Mary Rumple another parent whose child attends the center.
Whipps says she's already wiped out her entire personal life-savings to pay her employees.
In a business you can take risks and work harder and get things accomplished, but when it s in somebody else s hands there s little we can do, said Whipps.
Emily Simnitt works for the Department of Health and Welfare and says the department is aware of the dire situation many companies are in.
We know this is very difficult for many Medicaid providers, particularly those who rely on Medicaid for their livelihood and we are making it a priority to look at those claims from those providers, said Simnitt.
But that isn't making the situation any easier for some.
I'm a30-something year old woman with no kids of my own, and they're just like my own kids -- I'd do anything, said Whipps.
Simnittsays the new system is paying out claims and will take some time to sift through all of the backlogged claims.