Department of Health

Oversight of Medicaid Transportation Payments in New York City

If a Medicaid recipient needs medical services, but cannot get to those services, federal regulations require that transportation be provided to the recipient. Such transportation may be provided on an emergency basis by ambulances, or on a non-emergency basis by ambulettes, livery, personal cars or public transportation. (An ambulette is a vehicle specially equipped to transport individuals who cannot be transported without personal assistance.) We examined Medicaid payments for non-emergency transportation services in New York City and determined that the payments were significantly higher than necessary, mainly because many of the Medicaid recipients transported by ambulette did not need this specialized type of service and could have been transported by less costly means such as livery or public transportation. If the unnecessary costs identified by our audit were eliminated, Medicaid costs could be reduced by $23 million a year. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in the controls over Medicaid payments for ambulette services.

For a complete copy of Report 2002-S-19 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.