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Lack of gov't reimbursements leading to shutdown of Eau Claire's LifeNet site


EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - The owner of an Eau Claire health care business blames a lack of government reimbursements for his decision to shut down his in-home care operation.

LifeNet told state officials it would close the Eau Claire site on March 26th, leaving 120 people out of work.

Owner Jeff Fresia said it’s also forcing about 400 clients to look for new providers. He said the local Community Health Partnership program went bankrupt before it could pay LifeNet a large sum of money – but it eventually paid some back.

He also said another government provider, whom he would not identify, has been in arrears since last July. Fresia also Medicaid reimbursements have not increased in 11 years, and, “We can’t be treated like second-class citizens.”

He also cited a nearly 300 percent increase in unemployment insurance premiums, taxes, and uncertainty over the Obama health care act as reasons to close.

Fresia said he would help the Eau Claire clients move to other services, and he has asked employees to stay with those clients if they can.

LifeNet also has a facility in Schofield which will stay open. A facility in Medford closed some time ago.