Snyder: State should delay transportation changes that could adversely affect Medical Assistance recipients

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – The state must delay a plan that mandates shared ride services for Medical Assistance recipients go through statewide or regional vendors instead of county or locally based services, state Rep. Pam Snyder said.

Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington – along with state Reps. Aaron Bernstein, R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, and Johnathan Fritz, R-Wayne/Susquehanna – said they will be introducing legislation that would ask the state Department of Human Services to hold off until a thorough review is conducted, citing concerns about access, as well as community needs and resources.

“Pennsylvanians on Medical Assistance need safe, reliable transportation to their appointments – that point we all agree upon – but we need to ensure that any state requirements allow for flexibility, especially in the more rural and sparsely populated areas of our state,” Snyder said. “While we appreciate the department’s efforts, several issues arose in our communities showing a lack of understanding about local needs and resources, and that must be addressed first. Any transportation changes for MA recipients could cause confusion and result in significant impacts to their health care and needs. This plan could also adversely affect the senior shared ride program, and that also is a big concern of mine, if it were to go forward without a thorough review.”

Last year, the state Human Services Code included the transportation requirement as a way to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, modeling it after similar efforts in other states.

“I support being a wise steward of our state dollars, but we need to fully understand the potential impacts of this requirement, as this move could actually increase transportation costs in the long run,” Snyder added. “We need to be fully transparent and accountable to taxpayers, while also ensuring those on Medical Assistance can get access to the care they need and deserve.”