WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – Last week, Cedar Valley Recovery Services closed three locations across Eastern Iowa which left dozens of former addicts unsure where they could continue receiving medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
At least 20 of those patients have been welcomed to Pathways Behavioral Services in Waterloo.
“According to staff, it seems to be going okay,” said Pathways Executive Director Chris Hoffman.
Hoffman says prior to last week they had about 75 patients receiving methadone or a similar medication. Methadone blocks the high from opiates while easing the pain of withdrawal.
Pathways sees a diverse group of patients in recovery, according to Hoffman.
“We get people driving in here in expensive BMWs, who are holding very nice jobs in our community, we have more mid-level folks and two or three John Deere folks,” said Hoffman.
Last week, KWWL reported that CVRS closed in part due to lower reimbursement from Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system. Hoffman expects they won’t be the last.
“I can think of 2 like organizations to pathways that may be out of business in the next 12 to 18 months,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman was part of a committee this year that recommended the state take another look at its reimbursement system. If Iowa leaders don’t make a change, Hoffman says the problem will only grow.
Governor Kim Reynolds has continued to support privatized Medicaid since it was implemented in 2016.
For patients, Hoffman urges anyone who is transitioning between clinics to get in asap — or risk the possibility of withdrawal
We’ve reported on other stories related to low reimbursement from Medicaid. You can read those stories by following the links below:
NOTE: Since our original reporting on the Chickasaw Ambulance Service, an agreement with the county has been reached.