The new Wisconsin medical transportation provider for Medicaid patients will soon sign a contract replacing the former provider, the Wisconsin Health Services Department said last week.
Medical Transportation Management will take over managing all non-emergency transportation services for Medicaid
and BadgerCare Plus members, according to a DHS statement released Thursday.
“One of the department’s top priorities has been to secure a new transportation services manager who will be able to assist certain Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members to get their covered medical services if they have no other way to get there,” Department of
Health’s Secretary Kitty Rhoades said in the statement.
LogistiCare, Wisconsin’s current medical travel provider, decided to terminate its contract serving as the transportation manager and non-emergency medical care provider or these programs, DHS said in a November statement.
Former DHS Secretary Dennis Smith said in the statement the medical transportation situation will be “corrected” and believes a new, financially-practical contract can be achieved that will still save money for the state.
However, Patrick Ryan, the president of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, said he does not believe the new $54 million contract with MTM will achieve lower medical travel costs for the state.
Ryan said MTM’s track record has been “questionable,” as Wisconsin’s new provider had a negative financial impact on Minnesota in the past.
MTM outbid Access2Care, the only other broker fighting for the contract, Ryan said. LogistiCare gave up its $38 million contract voluntarily because it was not making any money in Wisconsin, he added.
Claire Smith, DHS spokesperson, said the contracts differ because Wisconsin previously had two contracts with LogistiCare, while MTM will only have one contract.
“You cannot do a cost comparison,” Smith said.
Ryan said ambulances do not fit the contract because they are providing an emergency service. He said with LogistiCare, medical care transportation providers were not compensated because they could not always screen every medical service, such as emergency services not covered under contract.
Ryan said he does not believe MTM will be any better than LogstiCare.
“Brokers put obstacles in people’s place, and [Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus patients] eventually give up,” Ryan said.