A Wisconsin home health company has closed its doors, leaving employees unpaid and hundreds of patients without care as a result of a federal investigation.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has suspended payments to Milwaukee-based Deaconess Home Health Inc. on April 18 pending the outcome of the investigation, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
Additionally, managed care organizations have also suspended payments to the home health agency.
The company had drawn attention from managed care organizations for its advertisements aimed at people caring for a relative or a friend, with the prospect that they could get paid for their services.
Deaconess would offer to hire these individuals as personal care workers, and in turn would pay them less than the company is paid by the state or a managed care organization, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
A federal search warrant served on Deaconess in April is sealed, the Department of Health Services saying the warrant was related to services for personal care.
One managed care organization that contracts with the state’s Medicaid program, ICare, claimed it had 600 people who received services from Deaconess Home Health.
Community Care Inc., another organization, said about 20 of its patients were affected by Deaconess’ closing.
Deaconess Home Health, who had an estimated 2,400 patients in southeastern Wisconsin, is hopeful the state will work to arrange transitions for its elderly clientele, according to Patrick Coffey, an attorney for Deaconess.
Written by Jason Oliva