Transportation troubles cost man time, money

A man contacted the Ombudsman with a number of complaints about the transportation that he should be receiving from his Medicaid managed care company.

On the day he called the Ombudsman, the transportation service had called him that morning to cancel the transportation scheduled for his afternoon appointment. He was told he should call the doctor’s office and reschedule, but the man felt that it was a bad reflection on him to keep cancelling appointments due to lack of transportation. He had already arranged for someone to take him the 29 miles to and from his appointment, but he was being charged $25 for the gas and the person’s time.

The Ombudsman offered to call the managed care company to request cab service for the man, but the man stated that the ride he had already arranged was already on the way. But he did want the Ombudsman to go forward with his complaint about the poor quality of the transportation service.

The Ombudsman contacted the company and spoke with the person who monitors complaints from members. The staff person admitted there had been many trip cancellations by their vendor in previous months and so a subcontractor had been added to meet the demand. The company representative volunteered to send the man paperwork to complete to receive a reimbursement for his expenses. The representative also provided a number for the man to call to ensure that any cancellations were recorded with the company so they could hold the vendor accountable.

Three weeks later the man called the Ombudsman again to report that the vendor cancelled his ride two days previously and had just called him again to cancel a ride scheduled for tomorrow. The man was angry because he didn’t received the required 24 hours notice of cancellation and was again having to pay a neighbor (this time $10) to take him to the doctor for the appointment the next day.

The Ombudsman contacted the company again concerning the cancelled trips. The representative responded that action was under way to increase the number of subcontractors in order to meet the service needs. The representative also confirmed that the man would be receiving a fair reimbursement of his expenses through registered mail.

The Ombudsman Column, a production of the Joint Office of Citizens’ Complaints, summarizes selected problems that citizens have had with government services, schools and nursing homes in the Dayton area. Contact the Ombudsman by writing to the Beerman Building, 11 W. Monument Ave., Suite 606, Dayton 45402, or telephone (937) 223-4613, or by electronic mail at ombudsman@dayton-ombudsman.org or like us on Facebook at “Dayton Ombudsman Office.”

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