STATEHOUSE (April 17, 2019) – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) improving transportation services for Hoosier Medicaid patients heads to the governor’s desk to be considered for a new law.
Last year, the state contracted Southeastrans, a transportation brokerage company, to provide consistent non-emergency medical transportation services to Medicaid patients across the state. The company schedules rides for patients who may not otherwise be able to make their doctor, dentist or dialysis appointments. According to Pressel, the demand for transportation increased drastically following the promotion of Southeastrans’ services, resulting in many system failures including late rides, missed rides and last-minute cancellations.
“I have heard from many members of our community about late pick-ups and missed appointments, and this simply cannot continue,” Pressel said. “It is not always easy to reschedule these appointments with the doctor’s office, and sometimes, these visits are for medically necessary treatments like dialysis. Hoosiers utilizing these services depend on them, and we must to ensure Southeastrans is providing reliable transportation to those who need it.”
This legislation would establish a commission to oversee provided services. The commission, consisting of legislators, service providers and a service recipient, would help ensure patients have safe and reliable service and Hoosier Medicaid dollars are spent responsibly.
Under the bill, Southeastrans and other brokers would also post weekly reports outlining the number of drivers, vehicles and system failures in each county. Pressel said this would help the commission and Southeastrans identify where improvement is needed.
“With the data, the commission could work to improve their scheduling system and help ensure Hoosiers utilizing these services are making their appointments,” Pressel said.
State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Pressel.