Medicaid transportation still an issue for patients

Medicaid transportation still an issue for patients

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A new medical transportation program is causing lots of headaches for Hoosiers.

Patients aren't getting their rides and they are missing doctors appointments and its having adverse effects.

Debra Fulkerson has relied on Medicaid transportation for years. She has two bone diseases and cant afford to get herself to her appointments.
Her husband helps as much as he can.

She has to solely rely on non-emergency medical transportation to get her to appointments, Fulkerson says they haven't followed through.

"I hate dealing with them. I mean, I've been dealing with them for three days now to just get a ride. And it's all day long I call them," said Debra Fulkerson.

Medicaid recently changed the way it does medical transports. A company called Southeast Trans is the sole company responsible for getting patients to appointments in Indiana.  We've heard from several people who are saying the program isn't working.

Kathy Fark, Executive Director for the Warrick County Council on Aging said, "It's difficult on us right now because we're not getting any money from Medicaid."

Even though Medicaid doesn't reimburse them, The Warrick County Council on aging is helping get people to their appointments with their vans. On average they are helping about 60 people a week.

"We do several trips a day, taking them back and forth, it's a necessity," Fark said.

The council on aging receives some money from the county, but say with as many trips as they do, the costs add up.

Fulkerson said she has begged Southeast Trans to help her and others.

"I had knee surgery and I'm losing some muscle and ligaments that aren't working right, because I've missed my therapy," said Fulkerson.

"People that are on medicaid, they are human beings too. They need all the help they can get," said Fark.

The Family and Social Services Administration said in part, "Throughout the first few weeks of this implementation,we have encountered unforeseen...Things are improving, but there is still work to do." They told 14 News they are looking into this issue.

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