Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meeting To Discuss Transportation Issues Faced By Medicaid Clients

(C) 2013 Luke T. Bush


Local advocate for the disabled Debra Buell is publicizing a meeting to discuss recent changes in the transportation services for Medicaid clients to medical appointments.  Such changes in the long run might impact the continuance of public transportation for all riders.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, December 4th, at 10 AM in the first floor conference room in the Clinton County Government Center.  It is open to everyone.

The shift to other services such as taxis for medical appointments has caused a drop in public transportation ridership, explains Debra.  This result has caused some counties to reconsider funding of their public bus systems.

In our area the Clinton County Public Transport (CCPT) bus system might be impacted.  Besides Medicaid clients a reduction or elimination of its service would affect not only the disabled but also seniors, school children, and others who cannot drive or are unable to afford a car.

On September 1st scheduling for transportation to medical appointments for Medicaid clients was taken over by a private company, Medical Answering Services (MAS).  According to Debra this transition has been problematic and it will be the focus of the upcoming meeting.

For example, she has noted in the past, communication problems and the lack of adequate training have led on occasion to rides being canceled, the client with a serious medical condition unable to see a doctor.

The meeting will be an opportunity for those affected by the change – such as clients, agency representatives, ride vendors and county leaders – to voice any concerns or problems they may have with the takeover by MAS.

Scheduled to attend will be Tim Perry-Coon, Program Research Specialist, New York Dept of Health Office of Medicaid Management.   Also in attendance will be a representative from the scheduling contractor MAS.

For more details about the meeting Debra Buell can be contacted at  Email is her first preference but she will receive phones calls for those who don’t have Web access at 518-564-0506.

Debra also urges Medicaid clients who have any complaints regarding any transportation issue to contact the North Country Center for Independence, (518) 563-9058.  NCCCI  can also answer any questions about the  meeting.

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