A firm that shreds documents for clients including the Colorado Supreme Court will cease operations at the end of March — and Medicaid regulations are the reason.
Document destruction company DataSafe of Colorado, which was founded a decade ago, is a division of Westminster-based nonprofit North Metro Community Services.
North Metro Community Services was founded in 1964, originally as a school program for people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). It has since evolved to aid in housing, community involvement and daily activities for people with intellectual disabilities.
North Metro CEO Randy Brodersen told BusinessDen DataSafe was created in 2012 to help people the organization served learn employment skills. The company was primarily funded by Medicaid, although customers did pay for shredding services.
Brodersen said the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were DataSafe’s biggest customers, along with several doctors’ offices. In total, DataSafe had roughly 75 clients.
Brodersen said new rules issued in 2014 specified that, to qualify for Medicaid-funded home and community-based services, operations such as DataSafe must offer employment that’s integrated with society and the larger community. States were given until March 2023 to enforce the rule.
“They’re looking at everything we do to see whether or not it meets this new settings rule,” Brodersen said.
After about six months of back and forth between North Metro and the government, it was determined DataSafe no longer would be funded by Medicaid. Brodersen said disabled employees did travel to pick up documents, but the government felt they still spent too much time secluded in the Westminster facility shredding materials.
“The whole project would break even in the best months, and that’s with Medicare funding,” Brodersen said. “And they’re not providing funding so we would have to subsidize that, so we’re winding down at the end of March.”
DataSafe had a total of eight employees – two supervisors that worked for North Metro, and six employees with intellectual disabilities.
“It doesn’t have a large impact on North Metro. Obviously it has a big impact on the six guys that are working there,” Brodersen said.
He said North Metro is working to find the six employees new jobs in the community. The two supervisors will be hired into different positions at North Metro.
“The system is changing,” Brodersen said. “But we’re continuing our main mission, which is to be out there and supporting people with IDD and their families.”