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Ames Woman Could Lose Care for Second Time Under Privatized Medicaid

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some Iowans are celebrating the news of another failed Affordable Care Act repeal bill, particularly those who are disabled and require high levels of care. They say the status of Iowa’s health care system is already damaging enough.

“I’m just overwhelmed. I don`t know what do to. I just want a company who will help me,” says Shelley Jaspering.

For the second time in nine months, Jaspering is looking for a company able to help her with daily needs. Jaspering, who broke her neck and became a quadriplegic more than a decade ago, was recently dropped by Iowa Home Care due to their lack of staffing. Now, she says her current care provider, At Home Care, is doing the same.

“I was told that the was problem was they feel like their staff may not be adequate or qualified because they are not a medical company.”

Channel 13 contacted "At Home Care" for comment. It’s owner, Dennis Ingwerson, says his agency has never denied or dropped a client due to lack of qualified staffers and “managing care organizations are have likely taken the services from the clients.”

Jaspering says the lack of staffing is a part of a bigger problem stemming back to states privatized Medicare and transition to managing care organizations.

“I have the funding but because a lot of places are getting paid they`re not hiring enough staff.”

The Iowa Statewide Independent Living Council says care providers are struggling to make ends meet due to managing care organizations who are slow to reimburse care facilities.

“It’s not that the money is not there right now. It’s that there seems to be a blockage of it coming down in a timely fashion and its creating problems,” says the organizations executive director, Dawn Francis.

As she and other Iowans celebrate the fall of the recent health care repeal bill many fear what could happen next.

“If they put a block grant in place, states will get a lot less money,” she says. “The state and the MCO`s or whoever`s in charge when that happens will have to decide who gets services and who doesn`t.”