WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A former employee of Medical Transportation Management (MTM) claims the company was not ready for its January 1 launch, and says she has grave concerns for the Rhode Islanders who rely on the vendor for rides.
Helen Terra began working for MTM in November, and resigned from her managerial position at the company on Wednesday. She supervised 19 people.
“I started seeing red flags when I first started,” Terra told Call 12 for Action. “There was nothing set up, no desks. We worked off of laptops in a conference room on folding tables and folding chairs.”
MTM has a contract to provide non-emergency medical transportation for elderly and disabled Rhode Islanders, but since its January launch, hundreds of people have reported late and missed rides to their doctor’s appointments.
“Honestly, there have been times I’ve listened to some people and I just feel like getting in my car and getting them myself,” Terra said during an interview Thursday.
“I don’t know at this point how MTM can be successful in Rhode Island, and I do worry about the elderly population and the dialysis and the cancer treatments,” she added. “It’s disheartening to go in every day and reach out to these members and keep apologizing for not having an answer as to why or ‘is it going to be fixed?'”
Terra said MTM’s office space in Warwick is too small to accomodate workers, and she claims the company’s computer system doesn’t work.
“It needs to work from the point that a representative enters a trip all the way to the transportation provider, and there’s a disconnect in between,” she said.
As Call 12 for Action reported, MTM submitted a corrective action plan to the state and promised to improve service. Terra’s name is on the report.
“I think it’s beyond repair,” she said. “It’s a very reactive culture rather than proactive, and that’s concerning because you’re never fixing the problem.”
Kerri Mileski, MTM’s chief human resource officer, confirmed Terra’s employmeent as a contact center manager.
“While we will not discuss the specifics of her challenges during her short employment, we are as disappointed with her tenure as she was,” Mileski said in a statement. “MTM is a great company to work for and we take pride in our efforts to engage our employees. We hope to be employing many more Rhode Islanders in the years to come.”
MTM is set to expand into additional office space in Warwick at the beginning of March.
To date, Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services has received 444 complaints about MTM. More than 1,300 complaints have been submitted directly to MTM.
“The service MTM provides in Rhode Island is improving every day,” MTM CEO Alaina Macia said.