NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — Four hours after her doctor’s appointment ended, Melanie Langlois was still waiting for a ride home from Medical Transportation Management (MTM).
A receptionist kept the office open after hours so Langlois wouldn’t have to sit outside in the cold.
“This was last Wednesday,” Langlois told Call 12 For Action. “It was like two [degrees] below.
Complaints similar to Langlois’ are mounting against the non-emergency medical transportation company contracted by Rhode Island to ensure low-income and disabled individuals have rides to medical appointments.
Call 12 For Action has learned Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) received 413 complaints about MTM’s service from Jan. 1 through Feb. 1. The R.I. House Oversight Committee is investigating the issue.
“They’re treating us disabled like crap,” Langlois said. “They’re treating us like we don’t matter.”
Call 12 For Action first reported on the transportation issues last month.
Patrick Tigue, the state’s Medicaid director, said he is holding MTM accountable.
“Frankly, the level of service that Rhode Islanders have received has been unacceptable,” he said.
Fast foward three weeks: a spokesperson for EOHHS said the agency reviews all complaints and issues submitted to the state and is “assessing any fees that will be imposed” against MTM.
MTM’s transportation trouble extends beyond Rhode Island.
Eyewitness News’ sister station in Arkansas reported the state canceled part of its contract with MTM on Jan. 31. In a statement, Arkansas DHS Director Cindy Gillespie said, “MTM has not been able to consistently provide the level of services required in its contract.”
Langlois wants Rhode Island to also cut ties.
“I want to see MTM leave,” she said. “I want them to find somebody who is more efficient. I want to see them find somebody who would actually do the job.”
Michele Lucas, a spokesperson for the Missouri-based company, told Call 12 For Action that MTM has made a series of improvements, including increasing local staffing levels and assigning members with their preferred providers.
“These efforts are producing positive results with improved phone and ride performance,” Lucas said. “We will continue to dedicate additional staff and resources to the program to ensure that any service deficiencies are addressed promptly.”
Rhode Island’s contract with its former transportation vendor, Logisticare, was not renewed. MTM’s new, three-and-a-half-year contract is worth up to $115 million.