BISHOP SECURES NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS
COLUMBUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement after legislation to enshrine the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) benefit in the Medicaid law was included in the Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 133):
“The NEMT Medicaid benefit, which had been mandatory by regulation since 1966, was in danger of becoming optional under a Trump Administration regulation. Thousands of Medicaid patients in Georgia and across the nation who relied upon NEMT to transport them to and from health services such as dialysis and COVID-19 testing would have been placed at risk if the benefit had been eliminated. By codifying NEMT under the Medicaid statute, we can rest assured that the benefit will remain protected now and into the future.”
The NEMT provisions in the Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act are substantially similar to those in the Protecting Patients Transportation to Care Act (H.R. 3935), which Congressman Bishop introduced with Representatives Buddy Carter (R-GA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), and Tom Graves (R-GA). H.R. 3935 had been unanimously approved by the United States House of Representatives in September 2020.
Medicaid NEMT provides over 100 million rides annually to medical appointments for Medicaid beneficiaries who do not have their own means of transportation. The benefit is used primarily by people with chronic conditions including end-stage renal disease, substance use disorder, and AIDS. These patients who depend on NEMT for access to life-sustaining medical services such as chemotherapy, dialysis, and medication-assisted addiction treatment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NEMT providers also are repurposing their businesses to deliver meals, groceries, and medical supplies to beneficiaries who are at high risk of COVID-19 infection if they leave their homes.