NJ’s Medicaid Transportation System in Line for Major Overhaul

State lawmakers want to give New Jersey more effective tools to manage its nonemergency Medicaid transportation network while requiring more of those directly involved with this long-criticized system of private drivers and shuttles that is essential to connecting vulnerable residents with care.

A pair of Assembly Democrats introduced legislation Monday to reform the program by requiring tighter inspections of cars and drivers, more detailed record-keeping and greater state oversight of the five-year transportation contract, which cost taxpayers $180 million last year and served some 135,000 Medicaid patients. The bill would also make it easier for the state to levy larger fines for contract violations and allow it not to pay drivers when an individual they were scheduled to transport did not receive medical services.

The state has contracted for many years with LogistiCare, a national transportation leader based in Atlanta, that operates in dozens of states; LogistiCare collects a per-person fee and subcontracts with close to 100 private cab companies, specialized shuttle groups, and individuals to drive Medicaid clients to and from medically necessary healthcare appointments.

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