INDIANAPOLIS -- Kenya Jamilah had a tough Tuesday. She tried to confirm a ride to an appointment for her son, Tarique. Tarique has autism.
Three previous attempts to get a ride were no-shows and asking to talk to a supervisor didn't get Kenya anywhere.
"I'm angry -- frustrated and angry," Kenya said.
It's been a chaotic 13 days since the state's new transportation management system, Southeastrans, took over on June 1.
Their job to coordinate the rides for thousands of Medicaid patients did not got well in the first two weeks. Across Indiana, people found themselves stuck at home, unable to get critical medical services from surgeries to dialysis.
Addressing the problems are top of mind at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Doctor Jennifer Walthall oversees the agency and the multi-million dollar contract with Southeastrans.
"The roll out has been disappointing across the board," Walthall said. "That being said, we are and we have been continuing to make this the agency's top priority to remedy. Our sincere apologies for the members we have harmed in the transition."
Walthall said changes have been made to improve the system, from adding staff to the call center to adding separate phone lines for medical facilities and EMS to request patient pick-ups.
It's what people like William in Indy, Greg in Anderson, Terrie in Muncie, and Jennifer in Marion are counting on. They hope the past few days will be a thing of the past---because their lives depend on it.
Eventually, Tarique got his ride. The state also says that Southeastrans will reimburse people who paid out of pocket, like Tarique's mom, who called Lyft to take him to an appointment.