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Medicaid transportation gets a closer look

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For the second month in a row, MAPOC focused in on the Medicaid transportation contractor’s performance Friday. Questions about Veyo, the contractor, have persisted since they were chosen by DSS. There were more questions than answers at Friday’s meeting, including what terms mean in the report. The number of rides the state is getting for the $160 million three year contract, and which number is the denominator in various calculations, is also unclear. According to the report, Missed Pickup remains the highest complaint and 16.9% of rides are late. Completed trips are 16% lower than Total Trips Booked according to the report.

In good news, we also heard from Beacon Health Options, Medicaid’s behavioral health administrative contractor for thirteen years. The best part of the presentation was the willingness to describe both achievements (there are many) and where there is room for improvement. Since 2013, the network of behavioral health providers available to Medicaid members has grown from 2,635 to 6,950 this year. Acknowledging that there is still unmet need, Beacon reported that providers of autism services have also grown almost ten-fold since 2015. To combat the opioid epidemic, Beacon has focused on Medication-Assisted Treatment, supported by evidence, but MAT remains underused, in part due to regulations and a lack of qualified providers. Beacon shared their study of  enhanced services for members with complex needs, also shared with the Complex Care Committee, about what worked and what didn’t. An important concern for the committee Friday was an indication of racial/ethnic disparities in access to care. Beacon is searching for an explanation and solutions.

An important key to Beacon’s success is listening (really listening) to consumers. We heard about their extensive member-directed member engagement program. We also heard William McClendon’s moving personal story of childhood abuse and neglect by his family and Connecticut’s social and healthcare systems. He credits a guidance counselor who went above and beyond her job with his recovery.

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