State Delays Changes To Medical Transportation System

HARRISBURG – Steps being taken to change Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) have been put on hold while the state conducts a review of the potential impacts. Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) and Rep. Jon Fritz (R-111) requested the delay in response to numerous logistical and financial concerns expressed by county officials, service providers, and those depending on rides.

“There were serious flaws in what was about to take place,” Baker said. “It may or may not work in the cities, but in smaller communities and rural areas it definitely has the possibility of driving up costs and hindering services to those relying on the system, such as people with serious medical conditions. Our seniors will be relieved this problem has been pushed off before they suffer any unintended consequences.”

In an effort to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, last year’s state budget required the Department of Human Services to revamp its non-emergency medical transportation system by converting it from locally run to being managed by a statewide or regional broker. The legislators worked to delay the proposal after it became clear that one-size-fits-all may not be the best approach.

“There is always concern when control is taken from local providers and given to a third party,” said Fritz. “The result, all too often, is a reduction in care and quality of service, as well as the ability to efficiently cater to the needs of the consumer. I was happy to work with Senator Baker in order to prevent implementation of a plan that could cause harm to our region’s residents.”

The examination will include an evaluation of the positive and negative effects of maintaining the current system versus implementing something new. A preliminary analysis is due in 90 days in order to provide sufficient time to advance any necessary legislative remedies. The final report is due in December.

 

Andrew M. Seder    (570) 226-5960