KIYC: LogistiCare being sued in California

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New developments in a Kane In Your Corner investigation into LogistiCare, one of America’s largest Medicaid transportation providers. The company is now being sued in California, and many of the allegations echo complaints News 12 New Jersey heard from patients and health advocates here.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County says LogistiCare “placed vulnerable people at risk, forcing them to cancel or postpone urgently needed medical care." The lawsuit alleges patients with failing kidneys were forced to miss dialysis treatments, resulting in complications including dangerous fluid buildup and shortness of breath.

“These are standing medical orders, locked in, Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” says Toni Varhas of Neighborhood Legal Services. “Pick up at nine, return home at one. And they don't show up, or they come an hour late.”

LogistiCare’s figures indicate 99.8 percent of its California trips are complaint free. Here in New Jersey, the company cited an independent audit showing 96 percent of patients expressed overall satisfaction.

But, as Kane In Your Corner found, other studies show a different picture. A survey last year by the Mental Health Association of New Jersey found 53 percent of the patients it surveyed reported missing appointments because of rides that arrived late or not at all. Thirty-six percent said they had filed or tried to file complaints with LogistiCare.

In a written statement, Paula Resley, LogistiCare’s marketing director, says the company cannot comment about pending litigation but adds, “We emphatically believe that NLSLA’s claims are inaccurate and do not reflect the reality of how the program operates in LA or any place else. The claims run counter to LogistiCare’s core values and how we run our operations.”

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