No pay for home health providers

Valley View Primary Home Care has been in business for about 15 years in Harlingen, according to owner Luz Elizarde.

She said the company has an established a patient-base of around 200 people, and has almost 200 home health providers to take care of them.

Elizarde said she TMs never been late on paying her employees " until April 2.

But she said the delay in checks is due to recent changes in health care reform.

"It's very, very unfortunate that I have no money to pay my home health providers, Elizarde said. I feel bad about that, I really do."

Since the state is no longer be responsible for reimbursements, Elizarde said she billed three HMOs about mid-March for over $100,000 to pay her employees.

However, the funds have yet to arrive.

Connie Fuentes, has been working for Valley View since November, and said that as a single mother, she depends on getting the checks on time.

The first paycheck (of the month) is for the rent, and this one is for the light, Fuentes said. My phone is already going to be disconnected tomorrow and the light, well I don TMt know."

Elizarde said she knew changes in health care were coming, but never expected she would be left without funds to pay her employees.

Still, this explanation is not good enough for Fuentes.

She said the company should've been better prepared.

"Everybody got covered before this would happen and this company didn't, Fuentes said. All of my other friends that work with other agencies, they all got paid - Texas Visiting got paid, Caring for You paid them, Vicki Roy paid them, and not us?"

Elizarde said when she first came to the U.S from the Philippines, she collected metal cans to make money, but through hard work achieved the American Dream.

That's why she said she understands the stress her providers are under, and is hoping they TMll be patient.

She adds that her employees can expect their checks as soon as April 4.