50 Home Health Workers Go Without Pay in North Carolina

About 50 home home health workers at an agency in North Carolina are working without compensation because the agency’s owner doesn’t have the cash to pay them.

Devon Best, the owner of Hickory, North Carolina-based Best Care Home Health Services, partly blames Medicaid for the payment delay. Speaking with the local ABC television affiliate in Asheville, North Carolina, Best explained the agency’s relationship to Medicaid and acknowledged that his employees have called him asking to be paid.

“They’ve been calling me, and the thing about it is when I hire anybody, in an interview, we let them know we are Medicaid-funded and sometimes Medicaid doesn’t send the money on schedule when they’re supposed to,” Best told ABC 13.

Medicaid makes last-minute changes that affect his company, Best said. He did, however, concede he is ultimately responsible for paying his workers.

“I know it’s not Medicaid’s fault or Medicaid’s responsibility to make sure my employees get paid,” Best said.

Monica Arrington, a home health aide for Best Care, is one of the staffers Best Care declined to pay last week. She makes $7.50 an hour and is worried about not being able to provide her family food on Thanksgiving, ABC 13 reported.

Arrington also denied that Best Care ever told her there could be a delay in her paycheck.

“Never was told,” Arrington said.

Best Care aims to pay its employees by Friday, Nov. 20, ABC 13 reported.

The agency declined Home Health Care News’ request for further comment.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson