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The company, SynCare LLC inked a deal with the state of Missouri at the beginning of this year to assess the needs of disabled and elderly residents to determine whether they need in-home and community-based health services. Previously, the state had conducted the assessments, but a change in law allowed the state to contract with a private company. Advocates who work with patients in the Medicaid program say SynCare has failed to provide timely assessments and services. Shelby Butler is the Access Coordinator with the Southwest Center for Independent Living in Springfield.
“We’ve seen many, many problems, not only people not able to get a hold of SynCare, but hours have been cut from individuals’ care plans. We’ve also seen people who are calling for services, who are not on the program, have had to wait long period of times for assessments. And we see that as a civil rights issue.”
There was no answer when KSMU made repeated calls to SynCare LLC’s listed phone numbers. The Associated Press also reports being unable to reach anyone at the company for comment.
Shelby Butler with the Southwest Center for Independent Living says the law requires an assessment be completed within 15 days of when an individual requests services. She knows of one Springfield couple that contacted SynCare in July and requested services but still hasn’t heard from the company.
“The woman actually has a severe health condition, enlymphodema, and has to go to St John’s to take a shower. And her husband has only had sponge baths in those two months because as time goes by, they’re getting worse and not able to access the program, which would allow people come in and help them. They’re not even sure if they’ve been denied or if they’re eligible because they’ve received no call to state whether an assessment will be set up.”
In the meantime, advocates are sending letters to state lawmakers, asking them to end the contract with SynCare.