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UPDATE: DHS says CVRS owner never billed Medicaid

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – According to the owner, Cedar Valley Recovery Services is closing its doors due to a decline in reimbursement from Medicaid and other insurance companies.

Cedar Valley Recovery Services was a clinic that assisted recovering opioid addicts often through the use of medications such as methadone, which lessens withdrawal symptoms while at the same time blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs. There were locations in Cedar Falls, Dubuque, and Marion. All three locations are closing effective Friday.

KWWL spoke with the owner early Friday but he asked to not be named in this story.

He claims that low reimbursement from Medicaid has run him out of business. The owner said he’s been in business for more than 20 years but no longer wanted to be part of the healthcare system. He also said his age is a factor in his decision to close. Many of the patients are being referred to Pathways Behavioral Services in Waterloo but the owner says the patients are free to choose where they wish to continue treatment.

According to Pathways Executive Director Chris Hoffman, there were 47 active patients with CVRS that could be referred to his group. Hoffman says he was only made aware of the situation within days of CVRS closing. Hoffman says he’s disappointed in the short notice given.

Pathways does not directly provide medicines like methadone to those in recovery but rather offers space for a Des Moines based group called United Community Services to distribute the medication.

Hoffman says UCS will honor a “guest prescription,” like one a patient would have received from CVRS, up to 30 days. To be treated by Pathways and UCS, each patient will have to go through an intake process which Hoffman says takes times.

He says it’s going to be a challenge to potentially accept as many as 47 new clients but says they’ll do what they need to do to help. Hoffman suggest that patients meet with them as soon as possible.

Pathways can be reached either at their website or at 319 235-6571.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Human Services says the owner of a local methadone clinic that recently closed never attempted to bill Medicaid for services.

KWWL reviewed an interview with the owner, George Lansink, in which we asked why he was closing his doors. Lansink responded “Medicaid has a lot to do with it.”

Matt Highland, a spokesperson for the Department of Human Services, provided the following comment:

The Department has looked further into the concerns regarding Cedar Valley Recovery Services. This is not a managed care issue or a claims payment issue. This provider has not attempted to bill for any services, either through the managed care organizations (MCOs) or through Medicaid Fee-for-Service (FFS).

Iowa Medicaid provider outreach has been working with the owner of Cedar Valley Recovery Services, Mr. George Lansink, to correct enrollment errors he made during his initial enrollment with Iowa Medicaid. Provider outreach continues to attempt to work with Mr. Lansink to complete all necessary Iowa Medicaid enrollment corrections or changes so that they can participate in the Medicaid program.

KWWL reached out to Lansink and he did not wish to comment.

Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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