Among health providers having difficulty with Medicaid managed care, Cumberland Valley District Health Department stands out

The financial struggle that recently led to 14 layoffs and an increase in furlough days for the Cumberland Valley District Health Department continues. Other health departments have reported such difficulties, but it may be one of those hurt most.

With its deficit standing at $503,266,  a review of the department’s financial summary from the latter half of last year shows that a large part of the deficit is caused by lack of payments from Kentucky Spirit, a Medicaid managed-care company, according to an article in the Manchester Enterprise.

As recently as September, Kentucky Spirit owed the department over $300,000 for Medicaid services that had been provided. In the December report, Kentucky Spirit had only paid $698 and has since quit cooperating with the state, according to the Enterprise.

Adding to the cash flow problem, another managed-care firm pays a month late, according to department Interim Director Lynett Renner. She said that since 2011, health departments must also pay back to the state a Medicaid match, and are the only health care providers that must do so. 

Those factors, she said, are why the layoffs plus an increase in furlough days are necessary. Beginning Jan. 21, employees will be on a 32-hour workweek. In addition to those two money-saving actions, the department has also eliminated two positions, director of nursing and director of environmental services, the Enterprise reports. 

“What we do touches the lives of everyone in our country,” said Renner and the district will provide its services however it can.

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