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CALL 6: State agency head apologizes for cancelled doctors visits

Posted at 2:17 AM, Jun 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-09 02:17:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- People are still being forced to cancel doctors appointments after the state’s new transportation management company for Medicaid recipient struggles to arrange rides to health facilities and providers statewide.

On June 1, Georgia-based Southeastrans became responsible for managing statewide transportation for non-emergency services for Medicaid recipients.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Dr. Jennifer Walthall connected with RTV6 Friday night to address the concerns of those impacted by a chaotic roll out by Southeastrans.

"A transformation that is this substantial will have some hiccups and I sincerely apologize for these transports not done," said Walthall.

FSSA is the state agency which oversees the Southeastrans contract valued at  $128 million dollars. The deal expires on May 31, 2022 and there are options to renew the deal.

Dr. Walthall adds that the decision to hire Southeastrans was meant to improve patient safety and quality of service. She points out more workers are handling consumer concerns and more drivers are being added to get people to their appointments.

"We have heard loud and clear that some of our areas of coverage that have had spotty service are not getting what they need and we are rapidly working to address those. We don’t want gaps in coverage," said Walthall.

PREVIOUS Medicaid patients complain some rides to doctor visits are no-shows

Mary Jones hopes her ride shows up on Saturday at 5:15 a.m. to take her to dialysis treatment. She has had two no-shows in the last eight days.

Her speech is limited because she is still recovering from a stroke, so her husband spoke on her behalf.

"For her to miss any treatment for me is inexcusable not when we had a system that was working fine," said Kevin Jones.

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