August 20, 2013

MaineCare ride provider has history of problems

The contractor hired to coordinate rides for Maine Medicaid recipients was forced to drop a contract in Wisconsin.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Shirin Cabraal, managing attorney of Disability Rights Wisconsin, addresses the crowd as state senators hold a public hearing into problems with LogistiCare at Washington Park Senior Center in Milwaukee Center on Oct. 18, 2012.

Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Clippings from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Goyke said he will lobby for Wisconsin to return to a system that's similar to the county-based plan the state used before 2011.

"We got rid of a system that worked well," Goyke said.

Many patients who have called the Press Herald have described a system that had few problems before Aug. 1.

Maine changed its system in response to a demand by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for greater accountability and transparency. The local nonprofits did not have formal contracts with the state.

The state had flexibility to devise a system and did not have to convert to the much-criticized regional broker system.

LogistiCare operates in 43 states, and most report few problems, said Todd DeFeo, a company spokesman. "Operations in most of these states run smoothly."

Coordinated Transportation Solutions has a much smaller national presence than LogistiCare. It failed to win a new contract in 2011 for statewide service in its home state of Connecticut, according to state officials.

The company served thousands of Medicaid patients in parts of Connecticut before losing out in a competitive bidding process.

After losing the Connecticut contract to LogistiCare, Coordinated Transportation Solutions laid off nearly half of its work force in 2012, according to news accounts.

Winning the MaineCare contracts this year boosted the company's bottom line. It generated $18 million in revenue in 2010, according to Internal Revenue Service filings.

David Dearborn, a spokesman with the Connecticut Department of Social Services, said by email that the state did not anticipate cost savings but wanted to streamline its nonemergency Medicaid transportation system by switching from a local system to a statewide model.

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at: jlawlor@pressherald.com

Twitter: @joelawlorph

 

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