PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The number of complaints lodged against Rhode Island’s non-emergency medical transportation provider has tumbled by 77% over the past five months, Call 12 for Action has learned.
In May, MTM provided 116,098 rides for Rhode Islanders. In the same month, the state received 275 complaints about MTM’s service, meaning there were complaints for less than a quarter of a percent of rides.
According to David Levesque, a spokesperson for the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the industry standard for complaints is between 3 and 5 percent.
In January, by comparison, nearly 1,200 complaints were made against the transportation provider.
|# of Rides||122,567||110,626||114,458||115,708||116,098|
|% of Complaints |
by Total Rides
Providence resident Milton Thomas was supposed to get a ride to an appointment in Woonsocket on Monday.
“They said that they had a provider and that the provider opted out,” he said. “They kept telling me another provider was going to pick up, which never happened.”
MTM CEO Alaina Macia said there will always be challenges because of things like weather and traffic.
“When members are not ready or their doctors run late, our schedules are disrupted and we do our best to get back on track,” Macia said in a statement to Call 12 for Action.
“We are pleased to be exceeding the expectations of our contract but are focused on continuing to evaluate and improve our transportation provider network and ensure that we are using technology and other tools to provide excellent service at a good value to the taxpayer,” she added.
EOHHS acknowledged the company’s improvement.
“Providing the highest level of service for non-emergency medical transportation to our citizens remains a top priority,” Levesque said in a statement. “Of course, one complaint is too many. That is why the state remains vigilant in ensuring that MTM continues to improve and evaluate MTM’s performance on a daily basis.”
Thomas said the stats don’t matter.
“It doesn’t make it OK,” he said. “For people that need transportation, it’s really a big problem.”
Rhode Island fined MTM $1 million for its rocky rollout, and the company has been on a corrective action plan since January.