January 31, 2012

Transportation for Medicaid Enrollees Surpasses 857,000 Rides in First Six Months


MADISON-The state's non-emergency medical transportation manager, LogistiCare, has received more than 380,000 calls from Medicaid enrollees and coordinated more than 857,000 trips to physician and dental visits, mental health outpatient therapy appointments, physical, occupational or speech therapy, and hospital stays, according to Department of Health Services (DHS) officials. More than 99.6 percent of the rides provided were complaint free.

"During the first six months, our Medicaid enrollees are receiving quality, consistent services, whether they are in urban or rural areas in the state," said Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades. "Having one number to call and being able to speak to someone quickly to reserve a ride really helps get individuals to the care they need."

Under federal rules, Medicaid members must have access to transportation to go to Medicaid covered services and return home. Prior to the state using a transportation management service, ride service management varied greatly by county and among tribes, resulting in service and cost inefficiencies.

The Department pursued a state contract for a transportation manager to better coordinate these services and arrange for the most appropriate means of transportation for each member. These can include local providers, common carriers such as buses, or rides provided by family and friends. Medical ride management in six southeast Wisconsin counties continues to be coordinated by the HMOs that serve Medicaid members in this part of the state.

LogistiCare has provided 91 new jobs at its Wisconsin call center, including Spanish and Hmong speakers. A Medicaid transportation advisory council that includes members from around the state provides input and suggestions to LogistiCare and the Department on enhancements to ride services.

There are currently 137 transportation providers included in LogistiCare's provider network to serve eligible Medicaid enrollees statewide. New transportation providers are continuously added to the network by LogistiCare to meet the increased demand for transportation services and to ensure quality service across the board. Providers must meet specific vehicle and driver safety standards and training requirements.

LogistiCare also collects data that helps detect potential provider and member fraud. Action can be taken to remove providers from the transportation network who commit fraud and to investigate Medicaid enrollee fraud, through the state Office of the Inspector General.

To reserve rides for medical appointments or to provide feedback about the services provided, Medicaid enrollees should call 1-866-907-1493.