Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

BISHOP LEADS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF MEDICAID TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

Oct 19, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC –  Earlier this week, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) led 10 other Members of Congress in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee opposing legislation, H.R. 1394, that would allow states to eliminate Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for patients, including kidney dialysis patients. All signatories are members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of Democrats dedicated to fiscally-responsible policies.
 
The Members wrote in the letter:
 
“NEMT is an essential component of our nation’s health care delivery system, especially in rural areas. According to a recent Kaiser study, over half of Medicaid transportation services are utilized by patients with the highest burden of chronic diseases, including those diagnosed with cancer, HIV, mental health and substance abuse disorders, and end-stage renal disease requiring kidney dialysis three times a week.”
 
The Members continued:
 
We would be grateful if you would oppose any attempt to eliminate or undermine Medicaid NEMT and hope that you would support the requirement for States to offer transportation to all Medicaid patients that have no other means to access health services.”
 
Only Medicaid beneficiaries that have no other means of transportation are eligible for the current NEMT benefit. It has been shown that the NEMT benefit has a significant return-on-investment as, over time, health care costs are reduced when patients have appropriate access to care. 
 
A scan of the letter can be found here. The full letter text can also be found below:
 
October 17, 2017
 
The Honorable Greg Walden                                                      
Chairman                            
Committee on Energy and Commerce                                    
2125 Rayburn House Office Building                                                                                                        
Washington, D.C.  20515
 
The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2322A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515
 
Dear Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone:
 
We are writing to express our concern about legislation (H.R. 1394) that would allow states to eliminate Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for patients that are blind, elderly, or disabled.
 
As you may be aware, NEMT is an essential component of our nation’s health care delivery system, especially in rural areas.  According to a recent Kaiser study, over half of Medicaid transportation services are utilized by patients with the highest burden of chronic diseases, including those diagnosed with cancer, HIV, mental health and substance abuse disorders, and end-stage renal disease requiring kidney dialysis three times a week. 
 
NEMT is utilized by roughly 10% of Medicaid enrollees and accounts for only 1% of total Medicaid spending.  It is reserved for beneficiaries who have no other means of transportation to and from their medical appointments.  State programs help to ensure the benefit is accessible only to those in need.
 
We believe that the elimination of NEMT would adversely impact both beneficiaries and state budgets.  Studies have shown that the benefit has a significant return-on-investment as, over time, health care costs are reduced when patients have appropriate, non-emergency access to care.  We would be grateful if you would oppose any attempt to eliminate or undermine Medicaid NEMT and hope that you would support the requirement for States to offer transportation to all Medicaid patients that have no other means to access health services.
 
Sincerely,
                                                                               
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02)          
                                                               
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05)
 
Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13)              
                                                                               
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
 
Rep. Vincent Gonzalez   (TX-15)
                                                                               
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)
 
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03)          
                                                                               
Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
 
Rep. Collin C. Peterson  (MN-07)
                                                                               
Rep. David Scott (GA-13)
 
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)