Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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April 18, 2014

Supervisors looking for new management team

Knoxville — The Marion County Board of Supervisors met in closed session Friday morning to discuss the future management of the Marion County Care Facility. 

The supervisors tell the Journal-Express that the County-owned facility is still under the management of Community Care, Inc. An investigation regarding fraud allegations was launched by Iowa Medicaid Services and the Iowa Department of Human Services in October 2013. A search warrant was executed at Marion County Care Facility at that time as well. 

Dewitt-based CCI agreed to have a third-party management group oversee its facilities during the investigation. The move was necessary to avoid a shutdown of their facilities by DHS. Several CCI employees, including the management team in Marion County, were released at that time. 

According to an article by Jeremy Huss with the Dewitt Observer, the Columbus Group, the third-party organization charged with overseeing the facilities, announced in a letter obtained by DHS on March 5 that it was immediately leaving management of CCI. The article says that the CCI did not retain a new, third-party management firm, which violates its agreement with DHS. CCI apparently owed Columbus over $130,000, according to documentation quoted in the Observer's article. 

The federal government has seized 20 percent of CCI's revenue, to hold in case future fines are imposed for improper Medicaid billing. This is one of the reasons given as to why CCI is facing financial difficulties. 

CCI sought a merger with another company, which was blocked by a Polk County judge. The reason was that any transfers may interfere with the ongoing investigation. 

The Board of Supervisors said that the pool for a new management organization is down to two firms. The firms were not identified. They hope to have a new firm selected and the situation resolved soon. Another closed session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, at 10:30 a.m. The same code section, referenced on the agenda for today's meeting, is cited for this one as well.

This story is developing and we will have a full report on the Care Facility and CCI in the April 25 print edition. 

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