Hoosiers missing medical appointments after new transportation company takes over


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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's been one month since 200,000 traditional medicaid members in Indiana were given a new transportation company to take them to non-emergency appointments. Patients contacted us to say they weren't getting picked up or their rides were extremely late.

Georgia-based Southeastrans is the new transportation provider since the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration implemented a new transportation system on June 1.

"They weren't showing up late. That would be funny if they'd actually show up. Out of the month ago I've gotten picked up, I've gotten one way rides five times," dialysis patient," Brent Olson said.

Olson goes to dialysis three days a week. His mother is now his most reliable form of transportation.

"But she's the one that's been providing them. She's 73 and has got no business being my driver to dialysis," Olson said.

His mother Diana says this has put her life on hold.

"I need to be paid by medicare. Three days a week I mean I'm at his beckoning call because I never know if he's going to be picked up," Diana Sander said.

Southeastrans is now the one company to coordinate rides for non-emergency appointments like dialysis. Before the facilities could pick their own preferred transportation, the state decided to streamline the process through one transportation company.

"I mean it's just a nightmare. We can't go and do anything because we're on call for him," Sander said.

In a statement an FSSA spokesman says, "Throughout the first few weeks of this implementation we have encountered unforeseen challenges that have caused hardships for members, transportation providers and health care facilities. Things are improving, but there is still work to do," Jim Gavin said.

Olson says he's thankful for his mother, but worries about others who may not have a backup plan.

"But there are people, other people than me who if they miss one treatment they'll die. It's dialysis. You know you can't live without it," Olson said.

Since this roll out has been so frustrating, FSSA has extended the transition period allowing facilities to use the transportation service of their choice until September.

Click here for a direct link to learn more about Southeastrans and how to report problems with your ride.

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