Medicaid shuttle cancels blind passenger's Trips

9:33 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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EAST POINT, Ga. -- More than 75 different shuttle services operate in Metro Atlanta to take Medicaid patients to and from doctors appointments and hospitals.

Many operate around the clock and mistakes can happen -- passengers can be left behind. That's just what happened to one blind patient in East Point. And it didn't happen just once. 

It happened nearly a half dozen times, and for passengers who need who need hospital or doctor care, the shuttle services, provided through Medicaid, are their only lifelines. When something goes wrong more than once it can be devastating.

That is just what happened to Waymon Evans.

He has learned to cope with his blindness, having lost his sight to complications from diabetes, but being told at the last minute that shuttle rides for doctor appointments have been repeatedly cancelled, is more than he can handle.

"I verify my information that they have on their computer to make sure it's me. I tell them the time and date that I need to be picked up," Evans said.

"For five weeks on this particular appointment going to Emory, all the same appointments, I had to reschedule 5 times," he added.

"The only job they have is to take us back and forth to the doctor," he said. But he adds they are not doing that.

So we contacted Southeastrans, the contractor who supervises non-emergency Medicaid transport in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia to get answers.

Southeastrans says they will meet with the Evans shuttle provider, and if they don't get good reasons and answers:

"We will either reduce the number of trips they receive or remove them from our network," said Benjie Alexander, Chief Administrative Officer of Southeastrans.

And for Evans, Southeastrans has given assurances.

"We have placed him on our monitor list where our Quality Department will monitor his trips in the future to make sure that the provider is transporting him in a timely manner," Alexander added.

Is Evans worried?

"It sounds good. They all sound good, but when the time to put it into action and that's when it goes South," Evans said.

The Help Desk will make sure it doesn't and stays right on course.

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