ICYMI: ‘Disaster’: NW Ohio Leaders Hammer State’s Paramount Contract Decision


Cleveland, OH – Only in a Mike DeWine Administration would an Ohio-based company be dropped from a state contract in favor of an out-of-state company, killing off 600 Northwest Ohio jobs and jeopardizing healthcare services for 275,000 Ohioans. According to a report from the Toledo Blade: “[Paramount] presently serves about 275,000 low-income or disabled residents, part of a larger state Medicaid program that provides care to more than 3 million.”

“Mike DeWine and his administration have shown no reservations about hurting local businesses and killing off Ohio jobs,” Jim Renacci said. “The downstream ramifications of this decision affect local jobs that rely on this company’s presence and the people who depend on consistent health services. Ohio companies should be prioritized as they are the ones providing local jobs and growing the economy. Now is not the time to cut jobs, especially after DeWine’s disastrous lockdown.” 

Reminder: DeWine’s overly restrictive shutdown last year drove businesses to shut down and shipped jobs out of Ohio to more job-friendly states. In this instance, he is not only jeopardizing jobs, but he is also threatening the health and well-being of those who need medical services provided by Paramount.

Read the report from the Toledo Blade:

Paramount was the only current provider not to get a new contract. It has noted it was the top-scoring applicant in 2012. The company presently serves about 275,000 low-income or disabled residents, part of a larger state Medicaid program that provides care to more than 3 million.

If those efforts are unsuccessful, Ms. Johnston said the company would lay off about 600 employees starting next July, when Paramount's current contract ends. Most of those jobs are based in northwest Ohio.

Other local jobs could be affected. John Luscombe, vice president of the printing and mailing company Metzgers, said losing Paramount's business would hit his company's bottom line hard. The firm employs about 80.

"There are hundreds of jobs at stake — hundreds," Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. "Not only directly associated with ProMedica and Paramount, [but] when you talk about these spinoff jobs that could be affected at places like Metzgers and countless other organizations, you start to begin to understand why this is such a frightening prospect for someone in my position."

Mr. Kapszukiewicz blamed Gov. Mike DeWine for the Medicaid agency's decision to omit Paramount, adding he had discussed the issue several times with the governor. He said the legislature and business community needed to try and force the issue.

"I don't know that the governor can be convinced at this point, frankly," Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. "I think a lot of us tried, and had very direct, long, passionate conversations that for whatever reason, were not persuasive to him."

Some said, while far from perfect, Paramount is generally more responsive with its customer service and payments to their health care centers than other contractors who won new deals. Jeff De Lay, chief executive of Unison Health, said the company sees individuals who were enrolled "as people."

"We could pick up the phone, and we could talk to our rep, and they would fix it, and we would get paid," he said. "The problem with the other payers is they don't see people, they see numbers. And it's more of a barrier to us getting paid or being able to provide services to individuals."

Mr. De Lay added: "I just think it's horrible, horrible public policy to take state and local dollars out of a community, and send it out of state to for-profit entities."