By Dr. Jeffrey Sather | Minot, N.D.

Medicaid leaders in the Capitol are making questionable decisions for the health of vulnerable North Dakotans. Many low-income individuals, pregnant woman, children and others have health insurance through Medicaid. To be sure these people are getting the right care, the government contracts with organizations like Quality Health Associates (QHA) of North Dakota to verify these vulnerable people are getting good, appropriate and timely care.

After performing this work in collaboration with health care providers and consumers for over 30 years, Medicaid leaders in the Capitol have chosen an out-of-state company to do this work, and it’s costing the taxpayer $250,000 more per year. This should be troubling to any taxpayer who wants their hard-earned dollars supporting North Dakota first.

More upsetting is the fact that medical decisions for these vulnerable populations will now be outsourced to a for-profit, Pennsylvania company, instead of a company like QHA, a non-profit out of Minot, N.D., that employs local health care professionals who are familiar with rural healthcare in our great state.

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As an ER physician who has taken care of patients in North Dakota for 20 years, it’s clear to me these leaders have failed to place North Dakota first.

Sather is the chair of the board of directors of Quality Health Associates of North Dakota.