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01 September 2011

Allen: State Terminates Contract with SynCare, LLC.

Yesterday, August 31st, the Interim Committee on Budget Transparency met with the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to discuss the failing contract with SynCare, a provider of third party assessment services. Bowing to legislative pressure, the Department announced today that the SynCare contract has been terminated.

SynCare began its contract with the State last May. SynCare was contracted to screen over 53,000 Medicaid clients statewide to determine their eligibility for home care services and assess appropriate levels of service. Almost immediately, I heard from multiple sources that SynCare was not doing its job properly or handling cases in a timely manner. Representative Tom Flanigan, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health, and Senior Services, and I have been meeting with DHSS Director Margaret Donnelly and Division Director Celesta Hartgraves since early July about this issue and raising concerns about Syncare.

It was also found by the committee that DHSS “loaned” upwards of 33 state employees to do SynCare’s job to make the contract work. State employees were answering SynCare related calls and helping to complete the assessment process.

With the SynCare contract disbanded, the State will temporarily take over the role of performing all assessments until a new contractor can be found or new procedures can be put in place. The Budget Transparency Committee will now focus on ensuring that the taxpayers of Missouri are reimbursed for the unnecessary expenditures incurred by the State as well as any additional penalties against SynCare for breach of contract.

Next Thursday, September 8th during our Special Session, the Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Senior Services will conduct a public hearing regarding the Home Care Services Program.

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