Department of Human Services Releases Report on Medical Assistance Transportation Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has released its report on the potential impact on the state’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) being administered by regional brokers for all regions of the commonwealth. MATP provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not otherwise have access to no-cost transportation. DHS oversees the entire MATP and the commonwealth offers and provides funding for MATP in all 67 counties.
“The Medical Assistance Transportation Program is a vital resource for people who would otherwise not be able to access transportation to their physician, pharmacy, dentist, or other necessary services,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We want to be sure we are choosing the correct path forward so we can guarantee MATP’s sustainability and consistency for years to come,”
Act 40 of 2018, which amended the Human Service Code, required DHS to issue a solicitation for statewide or regional brokers where the broker is at full or partial‑risk to provide MATP services. The MATP currently operates differently across the 67 counties – a broker model in Philadelphia County and as in-house or county-administered models in the other counties.
DHS has completed an analysis created in collaboration with the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation and Aging as required by Act 19 of 2019 and has issued its report to the Legislature. The report focuses on the potential impact of the MATP being administered through a brokerage model in all areas of the commonwealth. The report includes the following:
- MATP consumers are a mix of low‑income, medically needy, and aged populations who are sensitive to disruption to care. It would be important to have measures in place to ensure a successful transition if the delivery model is changed.
- DHS could save money with a broker, but a potential for county transit budgets to suffer proportionally exists depending on how much brokers might disengage from other public transportation programs. The extent of any such disengagement is not known.
- Regardless of the model Pennsylvania uses, oversight and quality metrics are critical to MATP.
- The commonwealth currently has an efficient program. Even outside of metro areas, rural counties are keeping trip costs low, and regardless of the model, MATP is a cost‑saving benefit to the commonwealth.
“Transportation is critical to our quality of life, especially for medical care,” Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “We are continually looking at ways to efficiently provide services while also supporting and enhancing the tools that Pennsylvanians rely on.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to review our program and we are always looking for ways to improve our services for the people who use them,” said Secretary Miller. “Now that we have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of MATP, I’m confident that we will find solutions that will continue to best serve the commonwealth.”
DHS will work with entities involved in MATP discussions, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, to explore options for the administration and service delivery of the MATP. While these options are being explored, DHS will not award a statewide brokerage contract.
To read the full report, click here.