The state’s new medical transportation service Veyo started up six weeks ago, but many have been saying it has been a nightmare.
Channel 3 has received numerous phone calls from patients saying they’re missing doctors appointments, and they’re blaming Veyo.
While officials say improvements have been made, more work needs to be done.
Bryant Beaulieu was in tears when Channel 3 talked to him on Tuesday.
He said he so frustrated, as he heavily relies on the non-emergency medical transportation service Veyo.
However, he's had a lot of problems missing his appointments.
“I can't get down there to get my meds so the doctor helps every 3 months and I get a ride down there and it's hard,” Beaulieu said.
Veyo is a Medicaid program through the Department of Social Services, of DSS.
In an emailed statement, officials from DSS said "We're about a month and a half into the new contract and system for Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation. It's a challenging service in any state, and CT is no exception. While the service delivers about 4 million rides annually, we've had complaints over the years about the prior contractor, and the contractors before that one. The new vendor, Veyo/Total Transit, is showing improvements, in our view, and we're working with them on finalizing a corrective action plan to address some of the issues--while they continue to provide services (again, only 6 or so weeks into the contract)."
Beaulieu is on a fixed income and doesn’t drive, and said he’s used up all of his 750 minutes on his cell phone last month, being put on hold when he calls Veyo’s customer service.
He said he’s concerned about the future.
“I might be going on dialysis and if I go on dialysis, how am I going to get there,” Beaulieu said.
Veyo started Jan. 1 with a new state contract.
In the first two weeks of the service, some patients were denied transportation, which is in violation of state and federal laws.
A meeting was held in early January with lawmakers at the state capital after dozens of people came forward saying phone wait times are too long, and they weren't getting picked up for visits or dropped off.
State Rep. Catherine Abercrombie said she’s holding Veyo accountable.
She said lawmakers recently met with Veyo, DSS, and the hospital association, and they gave Veyo recommendations to fix some problems.
She says Veyo hired 30 more people to handle phone calls, but patients feel it's not enough.
Veyo’s president spoke with Channel 3 over the phone, saying it has been a bumpy transition, but they had a dramatic amount of progress.
They've cleaned out data issues and have gotten new providers on board.
They've also doubled the number of staff in Connecticut, and he says hold times are less than five minutes for most people.
He admits there's more work to do and if you're having an issue to call the call center at 855-478-7350.
If that doesn't work, you can also call State Rep. Abercrombie's office to file a complaint at 860-240-0493.
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