Audit Faults State Driving Program

Some who had criminal records allowed to take the poor to doctor appointments

 

 
 
 

R.G. Ratcliffe | | Thursday, November 1, 2007


AUSTIN, Texas -- Individuals who lacked driver's licenses or who had a criminal history have been allowed to drive poor people to doctor appointments because of lax supervision by the Texas Department of Transportation, auditors reported Tuesday.

The Texas Medical Transportation Program is a $95 million a year taxpayer-financed program that provides non-emergency transportation to more than 196,000 indigent Texans for doctors appointments and medical treatments. The program was transferred from the Texas Department of Health to the transportation agency in 2006.

The State Auditors Office reported that transportation officials have been inadequately supervising the companies that are hired to provide the actual transportation services. Auditors said the department had conducted no monitoring of transportation providers in the San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley areas.

"Auditors visited four of the largest transportation providers and determined that a substantial number of their drivers had criminal backgrounds or invalid driver's licenses," auditors said.

"In addition, a large number of transportation providers' subcontractors did not comply with liability or workers' compensation insurance requirements."

The auditors found the transportation company with the most problems was American Medical Response, based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

AMR provided auditors with a list of 854 drivers, but the report said AMR was unable to give them a complete list.

Of the disclosed drivers, auditors reviewed the records of 179 AMR drivers and found 34 with criminal histories that would have disqualified them, and 29 with invalid driver's licenses. The report said most of the criminal backgrounds involved misdemeanors.

AMR provides transportation for the indigent in Houston, Beaumont, San Antonio and the Panhandle, said transportation agency spokesman Mark Cross.

Cross said many of the problems resulted from transferring the program from the health department.

Transportation officials in their response to the audit said program staff levels and management plans will be in place by next February to provide proper supervision to the transportation companies.

r.g.ratcliffe@chron.com


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Operations and Protcols, Vehicle Operations, Research

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kansas City Woman Thanks EMTs Who Saved Her Life

CPR save highlights community awareness program
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >