When the Idaho House and Senate Health and Welfare committees held an open public hearing on health and welfare issues on Friday, people flocked from all parts of the state to complain about the Idaho Medicaid program’s new non-emergency medical transportation provider, Veyo. You can read my full Sunday column here at spokesman.com, on the Veyo concerns, the hearing, and several other legislative topics addressed last week, from fees awarded in the unsuccessful Senate election contest; to advanced opportunities for high school students highlighted at last week’s budget hearing; to Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, asking for her committee assignments back.
Veyo has a $70.4 million, three-year contract, with a renewal option for five more years, with Idaho’s Medicaid system to provide the rides to take Medicaid clients to doctor appointments, therapy sessions and the like. It won the contract July 1 over several other bidders, including the previous provider, AMR.
Senate Health & Welfare Chairman Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, and House Health & Welfare Chairman Fred Wood, R-Burley, said both their committees will hold hearings to look into the issue, after hearing concerns about vulnerable patients left at the wrong locations, local providers losing business, and more.
Though people spoke on an array of health care issues, the only other one that drew as many comments as the Veyo problems was support for closing the gap in Idaho’s Medicaid coverage, in which 78,000 Idahoans make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the state insurance exchange. Wood told the crowd, “We heard you loud and clear” on both issues.