The State of Idaho has chosen a contractor from among four bidders to handle the non-emergency medical transportation needs of Medicaid patients.
Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM) will take over the program March 6, 2018. The existing contractor, Veyo, exercised an early-out provision in its $70 million, three-year contract, citing expensive, unexpected restrictions on its business model that uses independent drivers.
“The Department of Health and Welfare will work with the existing broker, MTM and stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition for our Idaho Medicaid participants and providers,” said Matt Wimmer, administrator of Health and Welfare’s Division of Medicaid.
The $34 million contract with MTM runs through June 2019, with an option to extend the contract for up to an additional five years. The contract involves providing about 100,000 non-emergency medical transports per month for Idaho Medicaid clients.
MTM, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, has 20 years of experience operating medical transportation programs of similar size and scope in other states, serving 150 contracts in more than 24 states and the District of Columbia.
Public Information Manager
One thought on “New Medicaid vendor chosen for non-emergency medical transportation”
I see that yet another Idaho NEMT management system has bit the dust as they say. I had a few questions about these for profit, “transportation management” companies that Idaho has enlisted the services of since the Fall of 2009. Having been a NEMT provider for Idaho for about nine years, I am fully aware of the requirements and legal obligations that are the responsibility of ALL NEMT transportation providers.
One question I had was whether or not anyone, either the State of Idaho, or the incoming NEMT management system intends on enforcing ANY of the legal requirements and/or other responsibilities of the NEMT providers? It has been my experience that the former and I’m sure the present and most likely future NEMT management systems are only interested in making money. Hence their “for profit” cooperate structure.
I clearly remember in 2009 being introduced to this for profit company called AMR that was supposedly being put into place to raise the quality and safety of transportation services that were being provided for qualifying Medicaid recipients. In fact, I remember receiving a letter from Idaho Medicaid stating just that. What a joke that turned out to be! I told AMR and the Idaho Medicaid hierarchy that this new system was dangerous and would never be effective. Of course, since neither The State dept. nor AMR was interested in what was right or just or even safe, my concerns fell on deaf ears.
I stuck it out until late 2012 when I just couldn’t take it anymore. AMR had “given” most of my clientele to the other companies because they were willing to provide the service for as little as a penny less. AMR had figured out a way to squeeze more money out of their Government grant by starting a bidding frenzy to create a new “lowest cost transportation”. That’s when I started to get really angry. I told AMR that I would NEVER bid on people. I felt that was unethical and that it bordered on slavery.
As a result of my unwillingness to compromise my integrity, AMR managed to whittle away at my company until I was basically bankrupt. I held on as long as I could, but finally reached my breaking point on November 2, 2012.
Everyone that is familiar with my company would tell you that American Carriage Transportation was the very best this area had to offer. The reason my company was the best is that we provided a service with impeccable standards for quality, safety and even compassionate, caring service. I not only maintained the nicest, cleanest and safest equipment, I also followed ALL of the legal requirements to the letter!
I am beyond certain that, of the companies operating in my area, there is only one that might be following some of the legal requirements, but are operating filthy, broken down, unsafe equipment. In fact, not long ago I recall hearing a story where a wheelchair lift had broken while in use causing the wheelchair passenger to fall. I’m uncertain of the extent of the passengers injuries, but I am not at all surprised about the equipment failure. I had ridden in a few of their vans/buses and was appalled by their atrocious condition. On two different occasions, two of their buses caught fire and burned to the ground. Fortunately there were no passengers on board at the time.
There are a couple of other “companies” that I refer to as the area’s riffraff that I am mostly, if not entirely, certain are not abiding by most or all State and Federal requirements. For one, I would be very surprised if they are carrying Workers Comp. Ins which is required by law. Also, they are paying their employees 1099 wages which is against the law given the circumstances surrounding their employment. And, in doing so, they are also breaking the law by not paying State unemployment taxes.
If all that wasn’t enough, I had read in the Veyo contract guidelines that the required amount of insurance for liability in the event of an accident was $300,000.00. If you go to the Idaho Dept of Transportation website it has all the information regarding Intrastate and Interstate requirements. Not only is $300,000.00 ludicrous, it doesn’t even mention any difference between Intrastate and Interstate. Anyone engaging in Interstate Commerce, that would mean crossing State lines FOR HIRE, is required to be authorized to do so by the Idaho Dept. of Transportation. And it does not matter how small, i.e., minivan, or how few passengers are being transported. Every single time one of those vehicles crosses State lines while engaging in Interstate Commerce without DOT Authority are violating Federal law, and could be held liable and penalized for every single trip they have made across State lines since they began engaging in Interstate Commerce.
Oh and did I mention the actual minimum Insurance Liability requirements? It’s 1,000,000.00 for Intrastate Commerce and 1,500,000.00 for Interstate Commerce. A far cry from what Veyo was claiming. They’re nothing more than one of those stupid little pretend taxi companies like Uber and Lyft. Is that what Idaho considers raising the “quality and safety” for Idaho Medicaid Participants? I suppose, too, that calling a NEMT company “Round Up” would be within those same standards.
Round Up? Really? That disgusts me! These are people we are serving, not cattle! I can’t believe some of the despicable, degrading and inhumane treatment these people are being forced to endure. And I’m not even a Liberal!
I have cried rivers over the loss of my company. I sometimes feel like I should have played the dirty little games going on in this industry, and how the Government chose to just look the other way, but I could not compromise my ethics; I was NOT going to give into a system based on exploiting human beings for profit.
If anyone has bothered to read this, thank you for your time.
American Carriage Transportation