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Central Iowa Family Planning to close its doors

Effective Nov. 7 in Grinnell, Nov. 14 in Marshalltown

Central Iowa Family Planning (CIFP), which as provided confidential family planning services in the area for over 40 years, is closing its remaining two offices, effective Nov. 7 in Grinnell and Nov. 14 in Marshalltown.

On Tuesday evening, the CIFP board made its decision, informing its staff Wednesday morning. They now begin the process of informing their clients and helping get medical records transferred.

“The three companies that took over managed care for Medicaid — AmeriHealth Caritas, Amerigroup and United Healthcare — aren’t accustomed to dealing with an organization like us, who provide a unique type of care,” said Mandi Beeghly, RN, executive director of CIFP. “There are issues with payments and reimbursement levels, to the point that there is really nothing more we can do. They’ve killed us.”

According to CIFP Board Chair Deb Tharp, “Our small agency simply cannot remain financially viable while dealing with the increased costs of federally mandated Electronic Health Records and much lower reimbursements from the new Managed Care Organizations that replaced traditional Medicaid in Iowa.”

CIFP is a stand-alone entity not affiliated with a national organization. It is a non-profit, relying solely on health insurance reimbursements, donations and grant funding. It serves six counties, out of its Marshalltown and Grinnell offices.

“We served almost 2,000 different clients last year in the Marshalltown office alone. We see anybody, regardless of ability to pay. We provide STD screenings, birth control and pregnancy tests,” Beeghly said. “There are so many people that rely on us as their only access to healthcare, and most are on Medicaid or have no health insurance. Who’s going to take care of them? Where are they going to go? What about the college populations? I have fought to keep us going, but it’s a battle that’s unwinnable.”

While the Marshalltown clinic closes on Nov. 14, it will have minimal staff still working there until Dec. 31 to help contact clients and process paperwork. Grinnell’s office will completely close by Nov. 7, with no staff remaining.

“The board regrets having to make this difficult decision, because it has such a negative impact on our clients, our employees and on the communities we serve, but after spending the past year implementing numerous cost reduction measures, including reduced service hours and closing the Toledo clinic (In August of 2015), we have run out of options,” Tharp said.

Central Iowa Family Planning’s Marshalltown office, located at 704 May St, may be reached at 641-752-7159; Grinnell’s office, located at 717 5th Ave, Suite 4, may be reached at 641-236-7787.

 

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