DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Providers of Medicaid services in Iowa say they are owed up to $1.4 million by an insurance company that left the Iowa Medicaid program two years ago.Documents filed with the Iowa Insurance Division show AmeriHealth Caritas could owe as much as $1.4 million to Iowa hospitals, nursing homes and providers of mental health services.Kim Weber, who leads a company that helps Medicaid patients to stay in their homes, says she’s owed $193,000 and calls the unpaid bills “downright thievery.”A hospital in Vinton and a nursing home company in Hampton are among Iowa providers that have sued for payment of tens of thousands of dollars.An AmeriHealth spokesman says the company continues “to diligently work to resolve any outstanding items.”Providers say they haven’t received help from the Department of Human Services, which oversees Medicaid. The agency says those with claims should deal directly with the privately run program.
PUC end-of-year report…GPL still to submit expansion plansThe Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has released its 2017 annual report, detailing its handling of complaints against poor utility services in Guyana.Dominating the list of complaints are those against the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and GTT.Public Utility Commission HeadquartersAccording to the PUC in its report, a total of 296 complaints were received against GTT for last year. This figure is almost double the complaints – 162 – received about GPL’s service. Coming in a distant third was the Guyana Water Inc (GWI), as 38 complaints were recorded. U mobile cellular incorporated (Digicel) customers registered a mere three complaints for the year.“The complaints received from GT&T followed the same trend as previous years with the majority of complaints received pertaining to technical issues. GTT has advised that the company is in the process of providing new technological installations to some of the areas which were previously served by the obsolete Fixed Wireless System (FWA),” the report noted.GPL Chief Executive Officer Albert Gordon“Data service via Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being offered to the Essequibo Coast. Areas such as La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara that was once served by the obsolete FWA system benefited from Fibre to the Home (FTTH),” the report adds.The PUC expressed expectations that other areas would benefit during the year 2018 as GTT continued its FTTH rollout. It also noted that the company has been installing its new Blaze system using fibre as opposed to copper technologies.In a regional breakdown, 227 GTT complaints were received from Region Six, while the region produced 63 complaints for GPL and three for GWI. In Region Five, there were 21 complaints for GTT, 12 for GPL and none for GWI.The Commission noted that it was able to resolve 107 complaints against GTT, 28 against GPL and three against GWI, in the favour of the consumers. GPL was the only company that was able to have any complaints resolved in its favour – 10.GPLThe Commission noted that 24 per cent of the complaints received against GPL were for technical matters, while 22 per cent represented meter tampering. In contrast, 18 per cent of the complaints had to do with applications for service and the remaining 36 per cent concerned billing issues, disconnection, change of tenancy and claims for compensation.Besides this, the Commission had some harsh words for GPL on account of the company failing to submit to the Commission a copy of its 2017-2021 Development and Expansion Plan. The PUC noted that this is required by Section 38 of the Electricity Sector Reform Act (ESRA).“Section 38 3(a) of the ESRA states as follows: ‘except as otherwise provided in its licence, every public supplier shall, no later than 60 days prior to the end of each of its financial years, submit seven copies of its annual development and expansion programme and a current version of its five-year development and expansion programme, as approved by the governing body of the public supplier to the Commission for approval in accordance with part seven of the Public Utilities Commission Act 1999.”“The Commission, therefore, is uncertain what were the approved targets the company was mandated to achieve in 2017. The Commission whilst not authorised to approve the targets to be achieved by the company, is required to review the performance of those targets and in the event, they are not achieved may require from the utility the reason(s) for its failure and to decide what action, if any, should be taken against the company.”According to the PUC, it found GPL’s omission of its objective disturbing and indicative of the company’s “uncertainty in planning”. And with no 2017-2021 development plan, the Commission stated that this leaves the company no approved targets to work with. This is particularly troubling as the PUC in its report noted GPL’s failure to meet its loss reduction targets for another year.“System losses were projected at 27.6 per cent for 2017. Technical losses were estimated at 12.9 per cent and non-technical losses at 14.7 per cent. At the end of 2017, the total combined losses were 29.5 per cent. Technical losses were 14.5 per cent and non-technical losses 15 per cent. GPL did not meet this target. In 2016, the overall target was 28.6 per cent. With 29.2 per cent losses, GPL did not meet their target. Losses increased by approximately 0.3 per cent from 2016,” the Commission noted.It was only earlier this month that GPL was fined by the PUC. According to the order, dated April 25, 2018, GPL will have to forfeit five per cent of its total dividend payments for 2017. The PUC noted that despite cautioning the power company in a previous order, certain expectations for service quality were not met.