Oberlander Legislation to Rollback Medical Assistance Transportation Fraud and Abuse Clears House
5/3/2011

Common-sense WelFair reforms contained in House Bill 1301 could save taxpayers more than $7 million annually 

WelFAIR reform legislation sponsored by Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong) to implement new administrative guidelines and fraud-prevention restrictions for Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) cleared the state House on Monday.  

“A recent audit from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee revealed that the MATP program, especially relating to mileage reimbursement for methadone treatment, was fraught with waste, fraud and abuse,” said Oberlander.  “DPW’s rule change limiting mileage reimbursement to one of the two closest methadone clinics is expected to produce $1.3 million in annual savings.  Passage of House Bill 1301 can extend these taxpayer savings across the board by more than $7 million per year by implementing even stronger fraud-prevention safeguards to protect the true purpose of this program, which is providing free or subsidized transportation to and from medical appointments to those truly in need.” 

Part of the House Republican WelFAIR reform package to rebuild public assistance through fairness, accountability, integrity and responsibility, House Bill 1301 would require the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to enforce the following regulatory parameters for the administration of the MATP: 

  • Transportation services or mileage reimbursement must be pre-authorized by the MATP office.
  • Transportation services or mileage reimbursement can be authorized only to medical assistance providers.
  • The MATP office will authorize transportation services or mileage reimbursement for the closest available medical service provider and the least expensive mode of transportation that is appropriate for the recipient’s medical condition and physical capability.
  • Mileage reimbursement will be calculated as equal to the lesser distance from the individual’s residence to the closest available medical services provider or 50 miles.
  • DPW is also required to develop a standard attestation form to ensure that MATP recipients actually attend their medical appointments.
  • Transportation service providers will have to record and submit important tracking information, including name, address, pickup and drop-off locations of MATP clients.
  • In order to receive mileage reimbursement, MATP providers must record their name, address, odometer readings, vehicle make and model, and the names of any passengers on the completed and signed DPW attestation form.
  • Future transportation services cannot be authorized unless the MATP recipient has submitted a completed and signed attestation form documenting all previous trips within 15 days. 

“House Bill 1301 will provide the MATP with new oversight and verification processes, revised mileage reimbursement calculations, increased program integration into fraud detection and cost-saving restrictions on future benefit increases,” said Oberlander.  “With these changes, Pennsylvania can squeeze the waste and fraud out of this program, while preserving it for those who need this assistance most.”  

House Bill 1301 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.  For the latest legislative updates, visit RepOberlander.com or Facebook.com/RepOberlander

State Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Ty McCauslin
tmccausl@pahousegop.com
717.772.9979