Missouri Healthcare Advocates Seek SynCare Contract Termination

6 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, August 30 2011 Aug 30, 2011 Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:45:00 PM CDT August 30, 2011 in News
By: Kim St. Onge
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COLUMBIA - Missouri healthcare advocates and consumers expressed their Tuesday, calling on the state to terminate its contract with Indiana-based company, Syncare Inc.

 The company assesses home care needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities. The state contracted SynCare to screen more than 50,000 Missourians receiving Medicaid  to determine their eligibility for home care services.

Caregiver and mom Dedra Milholland says SynCare cut her from five paid hours to 45 minutes. Milholland also says because is working at home full-time to take care of her daughter, Amy, she does not have time to get another job. 

Besides her cognitive disability, 31-year-old Amy Smith also has CVS, or Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. The diseases make it difficult for Amy to complete everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning so she needs around the clock assistance.    

"They said, well you're her mom, you're expected to do that.  Well I know, but 45 minutes? How do you expect us to live on that because like I said, she has to have somebody 24/7," Milholland said,  

Since the contract started in May, many Missourians claim the company has not fulfilled its contractual responsibilities. Some of those duties include getting in touch with the senior or person with disability within three days after they ask for assistance and completing an assessment of their situation within 15 days.

Aimee Wehmeier, Executive Director of Services for Independent Living, said SynCare has not kept its promises.  

"People deserve to live in their homes with dignity.  They deserve to have the care that they need and SynCare's not doing that," Wehmeier said.

If SynCare's contract is not terminated, it will end January next year.  KOMU tried to contact SynCare, but has not received a response.  

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