Nearly four million Americans miss or delay non-emergency medical care because they do not have money available for transportation that would bring them to and from appointments. That will soon change for Long Island residents, according to Paul Mertz, Chief Operating Executive of P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc., who says the Medicaid Redesign Transport Initiative will provide transportation services to hundreds of people in the region.
In the August 2015 New York State Medicaid Update, it was reported that Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be included in the Medicaid Redesign Transport Initiative #29. This program will phase in a Medicaid fee-for-service, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) management program, under which transportation services are carved out of the Medicaid management care benefit package.
Through this fee-for-service model, the regional Medicaid agency contracts with local and regional state-run Medicaid agencies will handle the eligibility and authorization and arrangements of all trips. LogistiCare Solutions, LLC has been selected as the first NEMT manager contracted for Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and will be available to eligible Medicaid enrollees once the program is initiated.
NEMT is a federally mandated transportation service funded by Medicaid that gets a recipient to and from medical care for non-emergency appointments, such as routine check-ups. Long Island’s initiative follows the one in Hudson Valley, which was implemented in 2012 for managed care enrollees, and New York’s program, which was executed the following year.
The Long Island service for emergency and non-emergency transportation will take effect December 1, 2015 for Medicaid recipients that meet certain eligibility requirements to receive the service, which typically comes at no cost.
According to the 2014 Kaiser Commission study on Medicaid, many uninsured have physical and mental illness comorbidities, known as the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases. Timely and appropriate medical care, accessible through available transportation, combats the chronic diseases that increase the chance of multiple conditions in patients that may result in costly hospitalizations.
“This is a great step for Medicaid enrollees and applicants alike, as well as the healthcare industry,” says Mr. Mertz. “The cost-effectiveness of the non-emergency transportation program has the potential to translate directly into reduced healthcare costs as well as to contribute to longer life expectancy and improved quality of life for Medicaid enrollees and applicants.”