|Read it and weep.|
jsonline: State taxpayers will be shelling out an extra $6.3 million per year for medical transportation for Wisconsin Medicaid recipients once MTM Inc. takes over for LogistiCare, according to a Journal Sentinel analysis of bids. Just a few years ago, state officials estimated that having a private firm dispatch rides would save the state $4 million a year.
Gary Goyke, a legislative consultant for several transportation coalitions, accused state officials of making up savings to convince legislators to privatize. "It was manufactured, in my opinion ... The Assembly bill does not show a savings from brokers in it. That goes into effect July 1. It also does not show in how much has been spent."
This is accounting?
Until mid-2011, counties dispatched rides. But state officials advocated for privatization, lured by the prospect of having the federal government pay a larger share of the bill. The federal government would contribute a 60% match instead of 50% if the dispatcher also collected data on the rides.
Pressed on how the state had calculated the projected $4 million savings, Department of Health Services spokeswoman Claire Smith said the number was based on the federal government paying a larger portion of the bill, not savings from the broker model itself.
The Federal Government is us:
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said in an interview: "We're the taxpayers paying for it," she said.
The state could have saved money, and collected data on the rides:
Patrick Ryan of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin pointed out that the state could have obtained the same 60% federal match by having the counties collect data as they dispatched rides. "The question they can't answer is: 'What would it cost if you were doing it yourself?' They have no way to know," he said, adding that LogistiCare has yet to compensate some providers for ambulance rides. "At least from the ambulance side, we estimate … there's $500,000 worth of transports … without any reimbursement.
The Walker administration’s moment of honesty; it’s all about a “belief!”
"It is the belief of not only the department but of other states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that utilizing a nonemergency medical transportation manager model is the most cost-effective way to provide these services," Smith wrote in an email. "We will ensure that this model works here in Wisconsin…"