Deaconess closes its doors without paying employees

CREATED Apr. 30, 2013

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MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee-based healthcare company is under fire for potential insurance fraud. Deaconess Home Health closed the doors of its Milwaukee locations, and managers told dozens of protesting workers they wouldn’t receive paychecks.

Security guards were posted at locations on Milwaukee’s West and South Dides.

“We do what we’re supposed to do, and not being compensated for what we do, we don’t know what’s going on,” explained Gregory Marks, a Deaconess employee.

In a one page handout, the company told employees Medicaid payments to the company were suspended nearly two weeks ago. The payment hold coincides with an FBI raid of the company’s south side headquarters.

An attorney for the company tells TODAY’S TMJ4 other organizations have also stopped payments, adding to the financial trouble.

“The State [of Wisconsin] has suspended all payments to, and –following that lead—managed care organizations similarly suspended all payments,” said attorney Patrick Coffey.

Workers were handed job applications to other agencies. Employees remarked the gesture won’t pay for food or rent.

“I feel like I’m stranded. I’m an outsider. You work to pay your bills, and you can’t get nothing resolved,” Marks said.

A representative for the company tells us a proposal is in the works with the State to try to get funding flowing to pay workers. That decision could come as early as Wednesday.