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COOPERSTOWN — As Medicaid accommodating James Fleming of Oneonta sees it, what bureaucrats accept done in Albany to advice disabled bodies get to their doctors’ accessories has resulted in a abashed and cher system, not to acknowledgment continued delays to artlessly get a bus pass.

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“Your MAS (Medical Answering Service) arrangement is a nightmare,” Fleming told accompaniment Sens. Jim Seward, R-Milford; and Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats; Wednesday at a accessible appointment on the challenges adverse rural accessible busline systems.

In 2013, back recommendations by a accompaniment Medicaid redesign aggregation were implemented, accompaniment admiral billed it as a cost-savings move back the administration of non-emergency medical busline was confused from bounded governments to the state.

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But the move has created hardships in rural regions of New York, with abounding bus routes actuality slashed, including in Otsego County, as patients that were ahead transported on bus systems are now alien about in abundant added big-ticket taxis.

“They kept sending cabs back I didn’t appetite a cab,” Fleming said of his calls to the Syracuse-based Medical Answering Service celerity center. “I aloof capital a bus pass.”

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Medicaid Answering Services (MAS) – medical answering services transportation form | medical answering services transportation form

Fleming said it amount taxpayers $40 for one of his trips from Oneonta to Cooperstown, back the aforementioned ride could accept amount alone $5 if the arrangement had accustomed him an Oneonta Accessible Transit pass.

“This was declared to be a cost-effective measure,” said Fleming. “But it’s not alive out that way, as far as I can see.”

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Non-Medical Transportation For HARP Enrollees – medical answering services transportation form | medical answering services transportation form

One day, Fleming said, he was put on authority for 58 account afterwards he telephoned MAS to ask for a bus pass.

Otsego County Planner Karen Sullivan said while the change has created new acquirement for some auto services, some rural association concluded up accident jobs back the bus routes they had been application had to be canceled. Also absent was the bounded allocation of accepting patients to breadth they bare to go in an able way, Sullivan said.

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Non-Medical Transportation For HARP Enrollees – medical answering services transportation form | medical answering services transportation form

Peggy Bush, the bounded administrator for Birnie Bus, said alike back patients alarm MAS and appeal a Birnie Bus pass, taxis are accomplished to aces them up.

The aftereffect has been costly, Bush said. She acclaimed it would amount alone $2 for a round-trip bus book from Richfield Springs to Bassett Medical Centermost in Cooperstown. But with a taxi, that aforementioned cruise costs $50, she said.

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“They don’t affliction about the consumer, and they don’t affliction about the allocation of services. MAS isn’t allowance any of us in a rural breadth at all.”

OPT Director Paul Patterson said the MAS arrangement is ill-equipped to acquisition the best busline options for those defective rides to their medical appointments.

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“There is no attack at all to acquisition the bigger alternative,” Fleming said of the MAS system. “It doesn’t amount hardly annihilation to put a commuter on an absolute bench on a bus. You’re affliction the bodies who can atomic allow it with this change.”

Seward and O’Mara said they are gluttonous achievement of a bill they are both allotment that would set up a appointment for accompaniment bureau admiral to appraise the appulse of accompaniment accomplishments on accessible busline in rural regions. The bill anesthetized the Senate in June but has languished in the accompaniment Assembly.

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