Iowa men with disabilities to lose home, services by end of mont - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa men with disabilities to lose home, services by end of month

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UPDATE: UnitedHealthcare, the Managed Care Organization (MCO) for the men has sent us a statement regarding the closure of this REM Iowa home. 

The statement reads: “The health of our members is our top priority and while unfortunately this provider is unwilling to accept state established reimbursement rates, we are working to secure care for our members.”


ORIGINAL STORY: An area family says their son who has severe needs will soon be losing his care because of a lack of funding at the state level. 

22-year-old Dalton Mumma lives in a home in Cedar Rapids and currently receives 24/7 one-on-one care through REM Iowa, an organization that serves adults and children with disabilities. 

His parents say he's made huge strides since joining the program three years ago. 

"Last year he had 365 aggressions and this year, 88," says Lisa McKiney, Dalton's mom. 

Dalton has autism and intense behavioral issues. 

He lives in a house with a roomate named Kevin through REM Iowa who provide the two 24/7 one-on-one care. 

"REM has designed this house to be safe for the boys, it's re-enforced windows, you know shatter proof windows, the TV is encased, I mean everything is safe here because they do have aggression issues," McKiney tells us. 

Unfortunately the two will lose their  home and care by the end of the month. 

The reasoning why is complicated but it boils down to funding through Medicaid and the reimbursment rate which REM Iowa says is only covering 40% of the cost for the program Dalton and Kevin are in. 

Here is REM Iowa's statement: “Since the implementation of Managed Care for Medicaid recipients of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) in April 2016, REM Iowa has not been reimbursed at a rate that supports the individual service needs of the gentlemen in this program. We have attempted to work with the state and the MCOs for nearly two years while continuing to provide the 1:1 staffing support levels that are required according to the authorized service plans established for the gentlemen supported by this program. The rate that we are receiving for services only covers approximately 40 percent of the cost of these services. No provider could continue to sustain losses of this nature indefinitely."

"My heart goes out to any family that has to go through this because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," says Tim Mumma, Dalton's Dad.

To top it off Dalton and Kevin have become great friends and now they aren't sure where they'll wind up of even if it will be in the state of Iowa.  

 "I want both boys to stay here because they kind of need each other you know," McKiney says. 

With less than a month until their world changes Dalton's parents are feeling helpless. 

"Dalton is not a number, Kevin is not a number they are human beings and they have the right to live where they want you know like everybody else has a right to live where they want," says McKiney. 

She says she would take Dalton into her home if she could but he's 6 foot 5, 250 pounds with aggression issues, she says he needs 24/7 care for his safety. 

REM Iowa sent us several statements today, see the rest of them below:

“REM Iowa has been providing quality of life enhancing services to the citizens of Iowa for more than 30 years. We take our obligation to provide high quality services to the individuals we support very seriously. Deciding to close a program is a step we take only as a last resort and with a very heavy heart. Unfortunately, we have decided that we have no choice but to close this program effective January 31, 2018."

“Further complicating the situation, effective December 1, 2017, the state moved to a tiered rate system that relies exclusively on the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS). That tool does not adequately capture the needs of many of the individuals served in home and community-based services and, as a result, is placing individuals in rate tiers that will not cover the cost of the services they are receiving."

 “We are committed to ensuring as seamless a transition as possible for the people served in this program, and we stand ready to assist in any manner. Despite the unfortunate closure of this program, REM Iowa remains committed to serving the residents of Iowa for many years to come.”

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