x
Breaking News
More () »

Medicaid recipients: Your next ride to the doctor could be free

In the past, patients had to rely on non-emergency transportation that didn't always assure them a ride or on-demand scheduling.

Inside Health Collaborative's training session on Wednesday, healthcare workers weren't refreshing their medical skills, but rather reflecting on the other problems that often weigh on their patients' minds. 

"As much as we want to provide, we have to consider what families are actually dealing with on a daily basis," said Elizabeth Lutz, the executive director of Health Collaborative. "Transportation, food, clothing, shelters—all of those other things." 

All of those things are factors that may make tackling healthcare issues a bit more challenging, especially when it comes to how to address them. 

"Transportation was always an issue," said Matha Castilla, a trainer for Health Collaborative.

A new law recently signed by Gov. Greg Abbott is hoping to curb that. Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber will soon be able to provide rides for Medicaid recipients to their doctors' appointments, a vital service that will be covered under the Medicaid plan. 

In the past patients had to rely on non-emergency transportation that didn't always assure them a ride or on-demand scheduling.

According to the bill, the program is expected to be implemented sometime in 2020 for the more than 4 million Medicaid recipients who would now access their healthcare without this major roadblock. 

Lutz says the new method of getting to appointment is not only a tangible immediate solution, but a long-term one. 

"(It) encourages them to stay on their care plans, but also allows them to get other services as they need them," Lutz said. "It's a huge and critical issue in our community that we continue to face, but legislation certainly helps." 

OTHER POPULAR STORIES ON KENS5.COM: