WNPR

After Complaints, and a Veto, State Looks to Improve Medicaid Transportation

Oct 28, 2016

The state is looking for a transportation company to get low-income Medicaid patients to their medical appointments. This comes after legislators overrode a veto of a bill by Governor Dannel Malloy.

The state has a four-year, roughly $25 million contract with a firm called Logisticare to coordinate more than four million rides a year for Medicaid clients.

But advocates have called their work "abysmal," saying rides came late or not at all; arranging transportation could take hours on the phone; and some medical requests for transportation were questioned or denied. That contract expires at the end of this year.

Given the concerns, legislators passed a bill last session to mandate that the state issue a new request for proposals by November 1.

The state opposed the bill, saying that it was unnecessary -- though it appreciated its intent.

After the bill passed earlier this year, Malloy vetoed it -- saying that it was "a clear legislative intrusion into the function of the executive branch." He also said the state was already working to improve Medicaid transportation. Lawmakers overrode that veto.

The state Department of Social Services now intends to issue the RFP by the November 1 deadline.

In a statement, Logisticare said that over 99 percent of its rides are performed without issue, and that it looks forward to continuing its relationship with the state.