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Lawmakers Question Extra Payments to MaineCare Rides Broker

Members of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee had to hoped to get an update today from Maine's Department of Health and Human Services on why the state is continuing to pay a transportation contractor with a long record of poor service.

Earlier this month, the state announced it would not renew its contract with the Connecticut-based Coordinated Transportation Solutions - or CTS - which brokers rides for patients in Maine's Medicaid program, known as MaineCare.

State Rep. Peggy Rotundo, a Lewiston Democrat, wanted to know why DHHS had awarded the company millions of dollars in additional payments during the final weeks of its contract.

But when Rotundo looked for a DHHS representative at the committee meeting, no one was there.

"I apologize, but I need to express my frustration with the ongoing lack of transparency around the performance of, and funding of, these providers by the department," Rotundo said.  "We're anxious - so anxious - to get these problems solved."

CTS won $28.3 million worth of contracts last year, but thousands of MaineCare patients say they have missed rides to medical appointments.