Medicaid patients sick and stranded after state-provided rides fail to show

Investigations

Transportation problems remain at or near the top of Medicaid complaints

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) — The state of Florida spends a boatload of money—about $100 million per year— transporting Medicaid patients to and from appointments.

But despite this, transportation woes remain at the top or near the top of a list of complaints Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration keeps for Medicaid patients.

Michael Stevenson, 53, of Port Richey, says his Medicaid-funded ride failed to show up three times this month.

53 year old Michael Stevenson waits for his Medicaid transportation ride to the doctor.

Michael, who has a mental health condition, is now out of medication because his ride to the doctor was a no show and his prescription ran out.

“On Oct. 7, I called, like I’m saying, to verify my ride, they said they’re on their way, never showed up,” Michael explained. “I have to wait to get my medication now because of what happened.”

More than a year ago, 8 On Your Side spoke with cancer patients who had endured hours of chemotherapy, only to find themselves stranded after treatment.

“Then you have to wait almost 2 to 3 hours for them to pick you up and to take you home,” Johanna Spaninato told us last year.

Clients say the transportation program is great when it works, but it’s inconsistent.

“I got stuck on down on Belcher Road one day for 6 hours,” Stevenson said.

We waited with Stevenson for his ride to physical therapy one day and a cab arrived within the 1-hour window that was promised.

But next time, Stevenson is scheduled to undergo surgery and may not be so fortunate.

“I’m very worried about it man I already told these people,” Stevenson added.

If you’re having issues with the AHCA’s Medicaid Transportation System, call the Medicaid Helpline at is 1-877-254-1055 or go online https://www.flmedicaidmanagedcare.com/complaint/#/

If you know of something that you think should be investigation call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808 or contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com.

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