CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been a month and a half since Medical Transportation Management (MTM) took over as the state of Rhode Island’s vendor for non-emergency medical transportation, but people who rely on the company to get to and from doctor’s appointments still say their rides are arriving late and in some cases, not at all.
“What Rhode Islanders have experienced is really inexcusable,” Medicaid Director Patrick Tigue said Friday.
As a result, MTM will be issued a fine for its rocky launch. Tigue said his office has not yet determined what the penalty will be but it will likely be announced within the next month.
MTM submitted a corrective action plan to the state and promised to improve service. Due to the state’s oversight, there’s been a steady improvement in MTM’s service and a reduction in the number of complaints, according to Tigue, but he said progress doesn’t make up for past mistakes.
“It’s not a question of if we will impose penalties. It’s a question of how much,” he added.
In a statement to Call 12 for Action, MTM acknowledged the possibility of fines and said, “We are working closely with EOHHS to fix identified concerns and will continue to until we have completed our corrective action plan…The transition has been challenging but the team’s hard work is being rewarded and our performance improves every day.”
Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has received more than 400 complaints regarding MTM to date while more than 1,300 complaints have been submitted to the vendor itself.
Many have suggested the state simply get rid of MTM, which Tigue said is still a possibility.
“We haven’t taken anything off the table, including contract termination,” he said. “If we believe that will result in improved service, we execute that option, but right now we have not reached that conclusion.”
According to the contract, penalties are capped at 4% of MTM’s monthly invoice.
Meghan Connelly, a spokesperson for the R.I. Division of Elderly Affairs, said per contractual requirements, EOHHS last week paid MTM its monthly capitation payment for March in the amount of $2,207,338.
The vendor’s three-and-a-half-year contract is worth up to $115 million.