Colfax Clinic May Have to Close Because It’s Not Getting Paid

COLFAX, Iowa  --  "As a private practice, when we don't get paid, it makes it very hard to keep the doors open," said Lisa Sytsma, a nurse practitioner who says she's been having problems getting paid for over a year.

"During this time, AmeriHealth left Iowa," said Sytsma. "We had about $12,000 billed out to them at that time. We've received about $600. We cannot get ahold of anybody at this time."

Sytsma says she kept getting the runaround from AmeriHealth, and now she's experiencing the same issue with another Managed Care Organization for Medicaid: Amerigroup.

"We are basically at a brick wall," said Sytsma. "We have about $30,000 billed out through Amerigroup right now."

Sytsma says her medical practice hasn't seen a dime of that money. As a result, Colfax Medical and Wellness has announced it can no longer accept Amerigroup patients, which will impact hundreds of people.

Meanwhile, State Senator Chaz Allen is trying to get answers and resolve the problem for his constituents.

"You don't realize how important a clinic in a small town is for things like school physicals," said Senator Allen. "Just so you don't have to go to Des Moines or come to Newton. You can go to your hometown clinic to get that done."

Iowa's Department of Human Resources provided Channel 13 with the following comment on this situation:

"The Department is working closely with the MCOs to ensure prompt and appropriate payment to Medicaid providers. While we’re hearing from providers that claims are being paid more timely, and the situation is improving, there may be some older outstanding claims that the MCOs are working to resolve. The Department will continue to monitor this and is committed to providing strong oversight of our managed care partners."