From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist
Two Democratic state lawmakers have drafted a bill that would require the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to develop alternative non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) programs in Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Pepin, Racine, Rock, Trempealeau, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties.
According to the bill authors, Rep. Peter Barca and Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, the current NEMT program has been plagued with problems and “has not proven to be a good deal for taxpayers.”
The program provides transportation for Medical Assistance recipients to/from medical appointments and has been the subject of complaints from riders who say their driver was late or simply never arrived, causing them to miss medical appointments.
This proposal requires DHS to develop alternative NEMT programs in several counties by making alternative arrangements with counties, health maintenance organizations, or transportation providers. It also requires that the department track comparable data under the pilot programs and that the Legislative Audit Bureau audit the data of the current and pilot programs in order to judge which model produces better outcomes for the state.