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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 03:17 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Seeking Fairness in Medical Assistance Transportation Program
The Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) offers shared rides to medical appointments for MA recipients when other means are unavailable to them. The individual’s county of residence makes these arrangements in the manner of its choosing. For example, many counties elect to act as a funding pass through, contracting with a third-party vendor. Some are completely removed, instead letting the state deal directly with providers. Others blend the two options, and operate under a hybrid system. Finally, there are those that provide the actual services themselves, utilizing their own assets.

In an effort to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, last year’s Human Services Code included a requirement that the Department of Human Services (DHS) seek to revamp its system and deliver assistance utilizing a statewide or regional broker. Several states already employ this model, and the savings through federal reimbursements were estimated at roughly $15 million.

While the shift will undoubtedly help some counties improve the delivery of services, the response from others suggests that more study is needed. In addition to concerns about access, flexibility, and a lack of understanding of local needs and resources, some of the feedback indicates the move could actually increase costs in the long run.

As a result, I plan to introduce a bill to delay the implementation of this concept until DHS conducts a thorough review. In a state as diverse as Pennsylvania, budget numbers do not always give a complete picture. Before making a shift of this magnitude, I believe it is important that we fully understand the potential impacts to ensure accountability to taxpayers.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB390