Fisher doesn’t know the facts; MCOs closed CIFP

The legislative forum at the library Friday was educational, informative and I was thankful I attended, until the topic of MCOs came up.

SATUCI and MICA representatives spoke of issues including late, reduced or nonpayment of claims, hiring additional staff to submit claims to three companies, applying and reapplying to be in network, and how this transition to managed care has negatively affected their business. I felt like they were telling the story I have told many times of the difficulties I experienced with these organizations. I had a sense of relief knowing that my clinic — Central Iowa Family Planning — wasn’t the only one having these problems, however, my tiny clinic couldn’t overcome it.

When I spoke of how we fell victim to the MCOs, state Rep. Fisher felt it necessary to declare to the audience that my clinic was having financial difficulties for years and for me to blame the closing on the MCOs was wrong. I wish he would have gone in to more detail for everyone, as he apparently has direct knowledge of the clinic’s finances.

As it turns out, he obtained his financial “facts” from the Des Moines Register article that ran several months ago. I also read that article and disagreed with many statements. However, after months of battling with United Healthcare, AmeriHealth Caritas and Amerigroup, trying to keep a clinic open that this community so desperately needs, I felt that fighting about a bit of distortion of facts in one article wasn’t worth my time.

Yes, there WERE difficulties, however many changes had been made to the clinic and our financial situation was positive, then the MCOs happened. If we would have had the reserves in place to cover their nonpayments, I have no doubt that CIFP would still be operating effectively and efficiently. If the Medicaid system that was in place prior to the MCOs was overseeing the processing of these claims, CIFP would still be operating effectively and efficiently.

If you have never visited our clinic, spoke with me about our clinic or had firsthand knowledge of what exactly we did and how we did it, then you have ZERO right to judge, assume or pretend that you know anything about it or its operations. Assume what you will — the MCOs closed CIFP.