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  • NJ A3616
  • Establishes performance and training standards for certain Medicaid transportation services and requires DHS to report compliance with standards.
In Committee
Crossed Over
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would require a provider of transportation services under the Medicaid program to ensure that these services are provided within 15 minutes of the pre-arranged time scheduled by the person seeking the services and the provider. "Transportation services" are defined in the bill as a pick up or return trip of a person receiving benefits under the Medicaid program by a provider to or from the person's appointment for health care services received under the Medicaid program. "Provider" is defined as a person, company, firm, association, corporation, or other entity that is participating directly, or indirectly as a subcontractor, in the Medicaid program and is providing transportation services. The bill also would require a driver or other staff member of a provider who comes into direct contact with a person receiving transportation services, and who is employed after the effective date of the bill, to receive training at the time of employment and refresher training every two years. The training would be provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS), a division of DHS, or any agency under contract with DHS to provide training. If employed on the effective date, training would be completed within six months of the effective date, with refresher training also required every two years. The training would include: 1) meeting the special needs of the person receiving transportation services; (2) procedures to follow, in a consistent manner, to be responsive to a complaint; and (3) appropriate and courteous treatment and interactions with the persons receiving these services. The bill includes provisions to ensure the accountability of transportation services offered by a provider and requires DHS to require a provider as part of its contract obligations under its contract with DHS or under its subcontract with another provider, as applicable, to: meet the standard to provide transportation services within the 15 minute period specified in the bill; utilize trained drivers and staff members as described above; and maintain certain records about the services requested, wait times, and complaints. DHS is required to audit this information, including tallying and reviewing complaints for quality assurance purposes, and also to engage in other activities as necessary to ensure services are provided in accordance with the standards in the bill. The bill also requires DHS to report annually to the Governor and to the Legislature on compliance of providers with the performance and training standards, complaints about transportation services, and any activities of DHS to ensure that standards are met. Many individuals living with serious mental and physical illnesses are reliant on Medicaid for their health care insurance and many of those receiving Medicaid benefits do not have cars, and lack the means to access public transportation. Medicaid funded transportation is often their sole means of getting to important appointments. Attending behavioral and physical health care appointments are essential as people move towards recovery. Individuals entitled to this service, however, have been expressing concerns that the current provider does not meet their needs. This bill is in response to complaints and concerns that were identified as a result of a consumer survey conducted by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Budget and Appropriations, Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens, Human Services, Passed Assembly
Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee  (on 6/16/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
6/16/2016 S Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
6/16/2016 S Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
6/16/2016 Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Hearing (13:00 6/16/2016 Committee Room 1, 1st Floor)
6/6/2016 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
5/26/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (69-0-2)
5/19/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
5/19/2016 Assembly Human Services Hearing (13:00 5/19/2016 Committee Room 16, 4th Floor)
5/12/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/16/2016 Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee: Reported Favorably 7 1 1
Detail 5/26/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 69 0 11
Detail 5/19/2016 Assembly Human Services Committee: Reported with Amendments 6 0 0