Each year, LogistiCare manages over 65 million non-emergency medical transports for more than 24 million eligible riders. Despite the tremendous need for the service we provide, federal and state policymakers continue to explore various changes to the Medicaid program, including proposals to limit non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services.
In response, the Medical Transportation Access Coalition (MTAC) felt compelled to educate officials about the benefits of NEMT. LogistiCare is among three of the nation’s leading NEMT brokers who formed MTAC in 2017. The group’s current membership numbers 17 including leading patient, provider and health plan organizations.
A recent study released by MTAC highlighted the return on investment by examining Medicaid claims data and surveying actual NEMT users. It showed that NEMT pays for itself many times over as part of a care management strategy for people with certain chronic diseases.
The research evaluated three conditions including kidney dialysis, diabetic wound care and treatment for substance abuse. The study concluded that missed medical appointments reduce patient adherence with clinical guidelines, which leads to complications and the need for more expensive medical services.
Some other key findings are listed below:
- ~ When study authors compared the costs incurred by Medicaid to pay for NEMT services with the expenses associated with more serious medical conditions occurring in patients that did not fulfill a clinically prescribed schedule of medical appointments, the contrast was stark.
- ~ The total monthly ROI for three conditions evaluated, per 30,000 members (10,000 for each condition), calculates to $40 million per month, more than $480 million annually.
- ~ 58 percent of nearly 1,000 beneficiaries surveyed reported they would not be able to attend any of their medical appointments without NEMT services.
- ~ 10 percent surveyed reported they would die or probably die when asked what would happen if they did not have the transportation services they currently receive.
As policymakers continue to evaluate various aspects of Medicaid, MTAC will provide key data to demonstrate the critical need NEMT fills for the most fragile and vulnerable among us.