INDIANAPOLIS -- A change to a new transportation management company to get Hoosiers on Medicaid to their medical appointments has run into problems.
Georgia-based Southeastrans, Inc. took over the service on June 1 and people are complaining about rides not showing up to take them to get their doctor's visit or surgical procedure.
Greg Risher of Anderson is an Air Force veteran suffering from PTSD and kidney problems. He was counting on Southeastrans to arrange his ride to the VA Hospital in Indianapolis and no one showed up.
Call 6 Investigates met him at outside Anderson apartment.
"I'm glad you are here because this needs to be dealt with and taken care of and the changes that need to be made before they start putting people's health in jeopardy. Oh, I deserve a lot better, Everybody deserves better," said Risher.
Terri McDuffie of Muncie hasn't missed a chronic pain management appointment in two years until Southeastrans took over on June 1.
Jennifer Rutz of Marion was left stranded by Southeastrans on the day of a critical stomach procedure.
Luckily, she reached out to the lady who provided rides before June 1 who agreed to drive her Indianapolis for her surgery on Wednesday.
Sabra Miller has been responding to people left in a panic when no one shows up. The 70-year-old is on Social Security and has been driving people to doctor appointments to make extra money. She says she continues to do it because, unlike her gas tank, her conscience will never run dry.
"Our clients are suffering desperately and that is unacceptable," said Miller.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration released a statement to RTV 6, saying through a spokesperson:
"FSSA is aware of implementation inconsistencies in the level of service experienced by some members in the first week of this new arrangement. Southeastrans has added additional staff and vehicle capacity to the Indiana market to address issues like high volume and long wait times at the reservation call center. FSSA has been working closely with Southeastrans, members and providers and will continue to actively monitor progress during this transition period to ensure members are provided with quality service."
FSSA added that another reason to switching to Southeastrans was to standardized the consistency of service across the state.
Medicaid members with questions about their ride can call toll free 855-325-7586. People can check the status of their ride by pressing #2 for the "Where's my ride" service.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM FSSA BELOW:
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) on June 1, 2018 began working with a nationally-recognized company called Southeastrans to manage non-emergency transportation for traditional Medicaid members. Examples of the non-emergency transportation include doctor’s appointments and prescription pick-ups from local pharmacies. Prior to standardizing the coordination of non-emergency transportation, finding a ride to-and-from the doctor’s office or other medical providers was challenging for many traditional Medicaid members because the member had to arrange the service on their own, which meant both service and timeliness varied widely throughout the state.
FSSA is aware of implementation inconsistencies in the level of service experienced by some members in the first week of this new arrangement. Southeastrans has added additional staff and vehicle capacity to the Indiana market to address issues like high volume and long wait times at the reservation call center. FSSA has been working closely with Southeastrans, members and providers and will continue to actively monitor progress during this transition period to ensure members are provided with quality service.
Please note the arrangement with Southeastrans covers any member who is not enrolled in a managed care program such as Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Care Connect or the Healthy Indiana Plan. More information about this new service and what it means for members, providers and transporters is available on FSSA’s website: https://www.in.gov/fssa/ompp/5481.htm [in.gov] or Southeastrans website: https://www.southeastrans.com/transportationproviders/indianaprovidersresources/ [southeastrans.com].
Traditional Medicaid members who wish to reserve online rather than call can visit this webpage: https://member.southeastrans.com/ [member.southeastrans.com]. Or they may call, toll-free, 855-325-7586. Members who wish to check the status of their ride can call the number and then hit prompt #2 for “Where’s my ride” service.