North Idaho officials are pointing to a lack of manpower in the Boise headquarters of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for delaying a much-needed medical rehabilitation center in Coeur d'Alene—costing that community 125 health care jobs.
"That is a deal-killer," Advanced Health Care's Robert Dellenbach told the Coeur d'Alene Press.
This morning's Press reports that Advanced Health Care was told this week that it will have to wait another two years for a license, after spending the past two years preparing its new $7 million medical facility.
"The licensing division in Idaho won't entertain any requests for licensing for at least two years," said Dellenbach.
But Health and Welfare officials claim its the federal government's ocean of red tape that's to blame.
"We could issue a state license right away," Niki Forbing-Orr, spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, told the Press. "But if they want to bill Medicare or Medicaid, they need to get the federal certification."
Forbing-Orr added that existing facilities get more immediate attention when they apply for re-certification, bumping up the existing facilities to the top of a four-tier system.
"So this one is low priority," she told the Press.
"We are talking about more than 100 jobs here," Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer said. "This makes me wonder how many more companies are going to be held up by this."
Meanwhile, Dellenbach said his company is opening two other facilities, one in Las Vegas and another in Kansas City.
"We are not getting the same hold-back in those states as we are in Idaho," he told the Press.