National Medicaid rep: No one has 'figured out' transportation benefits

Patients being left at home or injured by their Medicaid transportation benefits is "a national challenge," Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, told Kaiser Health News

Across the country, Medicaid programs offering transportation benefits tap contractors to ferry members to appointments. However, these benefits are riddled with no-show or late rides and injuries when wheelchairs are not secured properly, according to a Jan. 12 Kaiser Health News report. 

Mr. Salo, who represents directors of 56 Medicaid programs throughout the U.S. and its territories, said programs are at a loss for how to deal with the growing issue. 

"This is something practically all the states we talk to are dealing with," he told Kaiser Health News. "I don’t think anyone has figured this out."

The issue is personified by lawsuits and complaints across the country — including in California, Georgia and Indiana — that allege that transportation contractors and their drivers caused patients to miss appointments or subjected them to unsafe driving conditions. 

Georgia alone assessed $4.4 million in penalties to two transportation companies between January 2018 and December 2020, according to Kaiser Health News

Two leading transportation companies, Modivcare and Southeastrans, both told Kaiser Health News that about 99.9 percent of their rides are complaint-free.

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