Wheelchair, transport

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reportedly working on a proposed rule that would slash provider payments for the non-emergency transportation Medicaid beneficiaries.

The suggestion has providers on edge, even though the proposed rule isn’t expected until May. The news was first reported by Modern Healthcare, which noted details had been scarce on the rule.

Medicaid annually spends around $3 billion on about 103 million non-urgent trips. Long-term care providers say this transportation is crucial, as many beneficiaries have a high no-show rate to healthcare appointments, do not own a car and have limited access to public transportation in rural areas.

Medicaid saved more than $40 million in hospitalization and other costs for patients receiving rides, according to the Medical Transportation Access Coalition.

“Over half the trips taken today are for life-sustaining treatments,” Tricia Beckmann Faegre, an adviser to the coalition, told Modern Healthcare. “Some said that they would die or probably die if they didn’t have transportation.”