Federal Audit Faults N.J. Oversight of Ambulance Provider

July 11, 2016

Photo via FreeFoto.com.
Photo via FreeFoto.com.

An audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Health found that the state of New Jersey did not adequately oversee its non-emergency medical transportation program for Medicaid patients, according to NJ.com.

Of the 100 randomly chosen trips, only 12 met state and federal standards. Some were due to gaps in record keeping, while others were due to failures to ensure that drivers were properly licensed, vehicles met requirements, or patients weren't determined eligible for the service. As a result, the audit estimates that about 2.3 million claims totaling almost $65 million did not comply with contract provisions and state requirements.

Atlanta-based LogistiCare has provided Medicaid transportation for the state since 2009. The company's contract was recently extended through August. A spokesperson from LogistiCare told NJ.com that the audit's use of paper records rather than electronic records led to the gaps in record-keeping.

The state has penalized LogistiCare for substandard performance in the past. The state withheld $288,000 from April of 2015 to March for substandard performance related to clients' missing appointments and $330,000 in 2013-2014. A recent survey by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey found that more than half of the 311 patients polled had been late or missed an appointment because the ride service showed up late or failed to show up.

In 2015, LogistiCare defended its record by citing the flood of new Medicaid enrollees under Obamacare. Medicaid now covers 1.7 million New Jersey residents. Similar problems with Medicaid ambulance programs were found in federal audits in California and Texas.

Read the full audit here.

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