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Thursday, April 28, 2011

ridiculous medicaid programs

I wonder whose idea it was to start a program called NET (nonemergency transportation) for medicaid recipients. This program provides cab rides to clinics, hospitals, etc. It costs this country billions a year. In New York state alone, according to a local newspaper, 446 million was spent in one year for these rides and for gas reimbursement. Take that figure and multiply it by 50 states, an astronomical number. Hard to believe.

In this article it talks about how methadone patients can use it to go back and forth to clinics on a daily basis.

I see this being used daily in the emergency room. Young adults (who seem to be the main people using medicaid) who are walking just fine call the 1-800 number for a cab to pick them up at the ER entrance. Now, mind you if you and I don't have a car, we either get a ride, take a bus or walk home.
Even the elderly who are on medicare can't get these cab rides.

No doubt this program was started so people would keep their appointments. Well intentioned, I guess....Now of course it is being abused like all the oother programs like this. THe question is why is this not addressed when talking about budget deficits? Eliminating this program would save billions. Somehow, I think that the people on medicaid would find a way to get to the doctor just like everybody else.

4 comments:

Nurse K said...

http://crasspollination.blogspot.com/2011/04/365-cab-rides-year.html

ERP said...

I guess it's because the presumption was that if they have no way to get to the doctor's, they won't go and will get sick and then eat up more health care dollars.
Of course, I think this is a dumb-ass thought that is one of the things that should absolutely be cut from Medicaid expenses.
I guess they'll still just call 911 for non-emergent crap but until we have a mid level or an MD in the ambulance to basically triage people in the field.

Still Dreaming said...

Interesting... we have a program like that where I live for all those on Social Assistance, BUT they have to get each cab ride approved... and lots and lots of times they aren't approved...

It's basically to cut back on how much money social assistance was spending on ambulances, as it's waaaaay cheaper to pay for a cab then an ambulance. Of course, if they get denied, they may still call the ambulance, so no system's perfect...

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