October 27, 2012

Wisconsin Senate Hearings Investigate LogistiCare Brokerage

WISCONSIN - The ongoing complaints from service providers, community and health organizations, along with Medicaid transportation users and their families concerning the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) brokerage system operated by LogistiCare prompted the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Health, Revenue, Tax Fairness, and Insurance to hold an informational hearing in Milwaukee on October 18, 2012. Full, raw video footage of the hearing can be viewed on the Wisconsin Eye website. The following videos provided by the community publication, Madison Voices show just some of the over 40 presentations from the hearing. The various testimonies relate a litany of service problems involving the LogistiCare operated NEMT brokerage: missed trips, chronic late pickups/drop-offs, inconsistent service, lack of payment to transport providers, poor communication between the broker with service providers, inadequate cost reimpursment to providers, clients experiencing frustrating complaint run-arounds from LogistiCare customer service, and serious questions regarding the cost savings of Wisconsin's current 3 year contractual arrangement with LogistiCare. If there is one positive to take away from these disturbing allegations, is that they are being aired, and aired in public forum. If you go my post, What is LogistiCare?, you will find links to my other posts concerning similar situations across the United States. Hearings such as this one could serve as a starting point to work toward solutions to address issues involving Medicaid NEMT brokers, not only in Wisconsin but elsewhere. For more information see: Complaints Prompt Informational Hearing on LogistiCare (Journal-Sentinal), LogistiCare FAIL Kills Yet Sen. Fitzgerald Refuses to Appoint Republican Committee Members (Milwaukee Voices), and my own previous post concerning this issue - One Year Later, Problems Persist for LogistiCare in Wisconsin.

October 20, 2012

NEWS: East Bay Paratransit Transfer Policy Leaves Customer Stranded

CALIFORNIA - October 17, 2012 - The unfortunate, and not uncommon story of a paratransit customer dropped off at a transit terminal and required to pay the full extra fare to the connecting paratransit service. In this case the wheelchair user claims she had not been informed by East Bay Paratransit of the added $9 that she would need to make the final leg of her journey from the Orinda BART Station to her medical appointment on the other side of the Bay in Palo Alto. When her connecting paratransit bus arrrived it was then she was informed of the additional fare. She did not have that amount of cash, so she was refused tranport. The service, which is operated by Veolia Transportation said they were following policy. As a result, the woman was unable to get to her appointment which she may be penalized $500 for missing. On the paratransit provider's Frequently Asked Questions webpage it does state that transfers outside of their service area will require extra fare. To learn of a similar story in Georgia see: No Free Breeze Card Transfers for Atlanta Area Paratransit Users. In this case, the paratransit user and her family raised this issue with local authorities, leaders, and the media and was able to bring about change.

October 14, 2012

UPDATE: One Year Later, Problems Persist for LogistiCare in Wisconsin

WISCONSIN - Since Sept. 1, 2012 when LogistiCare took over as broker for the 270,000 Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus recipients in the greater Milwaukee area that require non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), complaints from riders, transport providers, and health professionals have persisted. As early as July 2011, when LogistiCare began operations in Wisconson, (see: LogistiCare Run NEMT Brokerage in Wisconsin Draws Complaints) questions have surfaced regarding the handling of the Medicaid Transportation Brokerage for the State. It has prompted some in the media, such as the Journal Sentinel and Madison Voices to investigate. The following video presents some of the findings and opinions of  Madison Voices. They begin by providing background into what led the State to contract LogistiCare to provide NEMT management services in the first place: how the system was intended to operate, save money, and provide improved service. They then run through the various problems that seem to be plaguing LogitiCare's operations, and what solutions there might be. What's happening in Wisconsin is unfortunately part of a larger national narrative of difficulties involved with the transition of Medicaid NEMT Brokerages from State operated, to private management by companies such as LogistiCare. To learn more, read my posts: What is LogistiCare? and Medicaid NEMT Brokerages.

October 7, 2012

NEMT Provider Profile: World Ambulette Transportation

NEW YORK - World Ambulette Transportation is a non-emergency medical transportation company based in Queens, New York. In operation since 2010, it provides services throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island). World Ambulette Transportation provides wheelchair accessible transports for Medicaid and private-pay customers for medical or personal trips. Their vehicles are all approved by the NYS DOT, all are equipped with GPS, and are all inspected daily by their professionally trained drivers. Find more services on our New York State NEMT Directory.

October 2, 2012

Non-Profit: South East Dorset Community Accessible Transport

UNITED KINGDOM - South East Dorset Community Accessible Transport (SEDCAT) is a newly established non-profit organization that provides community transport services for South East Dorset. SEDCAT services include: The BAT Bus, a wheelchair accessible door-to-door shopping service; Community Cars, a volunteer driving program; Shopmobility, a short-term wheelchair and scooter rental program; and Long Loan Mobility Equipment, for long-term wheelchair and scooter rentals.