SPRINGDALE, Ark–Thousands of employees and patients are looking for a new source of healthcare after a local provider announced it’s closing its doors for good.
This comes after the department of health and human services cut ties with Preferred Family Healthcare amid criminal and Medicaid fraud allegations.
After DHS cut ties with Preferred Family Healthcare in June, the company needed funding. Three months later, it still hasn’t found it.
After losing government Medicaid funding, Preferred Family Healthcare tried to find new sources of money. They said they had been in talks with TrueNorth, another local non-profit healthcare provider.
PFH said, “We appreciate their consideration and on-going discussions, however despite everyone’s best efforts, we have reached a point where it is clear transferring all our services is not feasible under mutually agreeable terms.”
In a letter sent to employees on Tuesday, PFH announced that it will be ceasing Arkansas operations by Oct. 12.
40 plus sites will close, including one in Springdale, and over 5,000 patients will need to be relocated.
The Department of Health and Human Services speculates that while operations will end in October, the healthcare provider can’t close its doors until it finds all Medicaid beneficiaries a different provider.
Youth Bridge, another local non-profit Medicaid provider, said it has already hired 6 to 7 PFH employees and taken on some of its former patients.
Michael Flowers, the Director of Clinical Services at Youth Bridge, said it’s important to help the displaced as soon as possible.
He said, “Consistency in clinical care is really important, especially if there’s medications involved, especially for those who have severe mental illness issues and substance abuse addictions. We do not want a gap in their care.”
He also says new patients shouldn’t worry about any cost changes, because Youth Bridges has never turned a person in need away.
Moving forward, DHS said it plans to send out letters to the displaced Medicaid beneficiaries, giving them various options for new healthcare providers.