AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The LePage Administration says it will not renew the contract of Medicaid ride broker CTS when the contract runs out at the end of June.
TS is the largest broker in the controversial ride program for Medicaid clients that started August first. The announcement was made in a press release today from the Department of Health and Human Services.
There have been thousands of complaints of poor service, late rides or canceled rides since the new system began. Maine DHHS says it changed to the ride broker system because the federal government didn't like the way it had managed Medicaid rides in previous years. The statement from DHHS today, however, said the department is still committed to the ride broker method.
Two Democratic Senators want to change the system. Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Waterville) and Democratic Leader Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) are proposing bills that would terminate the contract with CTS and end the entire ride broker system. At a public hearing before the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, the Senators said they want Maine to switch to a system managed by local non-profit transportation agencies, under contracts with DHHS. Such a system would be similar to the way Medicaid rides were handled for a number of years, although Sen. Lachowicz says there would need to be provisions added to meet new federal requirements. She says Vermont uses that kind of system now for Medicaid clients, and it has been approved by the federal CMS agency that funds Medicaid service.
Following the announcement by Maine DHHS that it will not renew the CTS contract, CTS issued its own release, saying the company is undecided whether it will try to continue doing business in Maine. CTS said it would continue providing service for the duration of the current contract, and blamed the problems, in part on a far higher demand for rides than the state had predicted, and far greater than CTS was prepared to handle.