FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2015
Audit Recommends DHS Improve Oversight of
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services
MADISON – Today, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its audit of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services to Medical Assistance recipients. The Medical Assistance program is administered by the Department of Health Services (DHS).
DHS contracts with a transportation broker, Medical Transportation Management (MTM), Inc., to coordinate NEMT services. From August 2013 through June 2014, MTM provided 2.3 million trips to approximately 69,300 Medical Assistance recipients and paid $39.8 million to transportation providers. Using MTM’s method of calculating the rate of trips that have substantiated complaints, an estimated 99.6 percent of all trips MTM provided were complaint free during this period.
“While there are obviously some areas for improvement, overall this program has seemed to provide reasonably suitable transportation services,” Said Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay). “However, I agree with the LAB’s recommendation to apply more diverse metrics to safeguard for even higher quality of services in the future. I hope this will result in better customer service for those in need of NEMT services and move towards more aggressive resolve for those who file complaints.”
From July 2010 through January 2015, LAB received a total of 386 NEMT-related complaints. Common complaints LAB received, as well as those received by MTM, related to drivers not arriving to transport recipients (no-shows) or arriving late to take them to their appointments. From August 2013 through June 2014, LAB found 4,154 instances in which transportation providers did not arrive to provide a scheduled trip and 55,320 instances in which they arrived more than 15 minutes late to take recipients to their appointments.
LAB conducted a survey of 5,000 randomly selected Medical Assistance recipients who received at least one trip arranged by MTM from January 2014 to June 2014. The survey excluded recipients whose NEMT services were entirely limited to public transportation or mileage reimbursement. Over 40 percent of recipients indicated they had experienced instances in which they missed or had to reschedule an appointment because drivers arrived more than 15 minutes late to pick them up or did not arrive at all. However, in assessing their overall experience with MTM, 87.0 percent of respondents indicated that they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied.”
“I appreciate the work of the Legislative Audit Bureau on this audit and the on-going responsiveness of the Department of Health Services in their oversight of NEMT,” said Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem). “The high-bar for complaint-free service recognizes that late or no-show rides sets off a chain reaction of negative outcomes. The audit provides recommendations to address this service component.”
Copies of LAB’s report (report 15-4) may be obtained from its website at www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lab or by calling (608) 266-2818.