Rhode Island tentatively renews MTM’s contract despite past concerns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Medical Transportation Management’s contract was tentatively renewed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services — despite past concerns, including  the death of a woman riding in a MTM van.

Ashley O’Shea, a spokesperson for the EOHHS, said there were changes made to the new contract by advocates and providers and through legislative feedback.

“The team also gathered lessons learned from other state Medicaid agencies that run similar transportation models,” said O’Shea. “The new contract enhances quality and safety assurances, transparency of vendor performance, financial management and improve member satisfaction of transportation services.”

She said that MTM has been tentatively awarded as the vendor to administer the Rhode Island non-emergency medical transportation.

In November 2019, The House Oversight Committee asked for a comprehensive improvement plan from the agency after a long list of complaints against the company. But after a hearing four months later, lawmakers were still not satisfied.

Fast forward to Dec. 6, 2021, a medical transport driver was charged with DUI in a crash that killed a patient.

The new contract’s effective date is July 1, with three base years and four, one-year option years.

“EOHHS will continue to closely monitor the performance of the state’s NEMT vendor and is committed to continuously improving these services,” said O’Shea. “Rhode Islanders who rely on NEMT services deserve nothing less than safe, high-quality care every time they need transportation.”

Local legislators spoke against the likely renewal, saying they have fielding plenty of complaints in the last few years.

“There is a lot of head scratching going on right now,” said Rep. Julie Casimiro about the general assembly. “For some of our most vulnerable people, these are critical services.”

Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Patricia Serpa, said it is inexcusable to renew MTM’s contract.

She asked ABC 6 News Monday, “Who is going to provide this oversight and what guarantees to we have that this is going to improve?”

“I just want to know the magic,” she concluded.

ABC 6 reached out to MTM for a statement but have yet to hear back.

Categories: News, Rhode Island