PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state has renewed its controversial contract with Medical Transportation Management, also known as MTM, despite calls from patients and lawmakers alike to cancel it.
The Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) confirmed to Target 12 Tuesday that MTM’s contract has been extended for one year and will now expire on June 30, 2023.
“We reached this difficult decision to allow the state sufficient time to re-procure for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services during the upcoming year,” EOHHS spokesperson Kerri White said in a statement. “The re-procurement process will include public stakeholder engagement – as we want to hear directly from those who rely on NEMT services and from transportation providers.”
MTM was fined $600,000 late last year in the wake of a deadly crash involving a driver that was reportedly under the influence.
And that’s not the only time MTM has been penalized.
In March 2019, MTM was fined $1 million for its problem-plagued launch in Rhode Island, which included complaints about rides being late or patients being left stranded. Later that year, MTM dropped one of its drivers after Target 12 obtained a photo that showed a child crouching on the floor of a packed vehicle.
Patients who utilize the non-emergency medical transportation service have also filed thousands of complaints against the company, alleging that some of the drivers either arrive late or not at all.
Data from EOHHS shows that the number of complaints is down significantly since MTM’s rocky rollout in 2019. Between January 2021 and February 2022, EOHHS received nearly 2,000 complaints, as compared to the more than 4,400 complaints filed in 2019.
White said the state plans on putting out a request for bids later this summer.
Sarah Guernelli contributed to this report.