Provides that where the commissioner of health assumes the responsibility for the transportation of medicaid recipients in rural areas, existing public transportation systems shall be used when such systems are appropriate, available and the least expensive modes of transportation.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A380
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the social services law, in relation to the transporta-
tion of eligible persons residing in a rural area
This bill directs the commissioner of health to assign Medicaid-reim-
bursed nonemergency medical transportation to public transit where the
rider's originating location exists within a rural county, and that
public transit system is available, appropriate for the rider, and the
least expensive mode of transportation.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends § 365-h(4) of the Social Services Law and establishes
that where the commissioner of health assumes responsibility for trans-
portation of Medicaid recipients in rural counties, a public transporta-
tion system shall be prioritized for assignment where the system is
available, appropriate, and the least expensive means.
Section 2 is the effective date.
Since the adoption of the centralized nonemergency medical transporta-
tion (NEMT) manager system in New York State, many rural counties have
experienced a sharp decrease in ridership and consequently, revenue to
their public transportation systems. As a result, many counties have
reduced or eliminated routes. The most rural areas of these systems are
typically affected first. In Tioga County, the entire public transporta-
tion system has been discontinued indefinitely.
It is well-established that access to public transportation is critical
to the health and economic vitality of our communities. Based on this
fundamental perspective, the federal United We Ride initiative and move-
ments in mobility management have emerged. With much hard work and
investment dedicated to establishing public transportation systems in
rural areas of the state, many rural residents have come to rely on
these public systems for daily transportation. Some of the most vulner-
able populations, including those relying on NEMT services, need public
transportation to support their overall health and welfare, go to work,
attend school, pick up prescriptions at a pharmacy, or buy food at a
By ensuring that public transportation systems in rural counties contin-
ue to prioritize rider assignment, this legislation requires assignment
to public transportation systems where the rider originates from a rural
county, a route is available, the vehicle is medically appropriate, and
the service provides the least expensive transportation option. As such,
this legislation is critical for increasing ridership and revenue to
public transportation systems in rural counties. Furthermore, this meas-
ure prioritizes the use of public transportation and maintains rider
familiarity with public transportation systems. It is evident that this
legislation will increase mobility and emphasize the importance of these
systems within rural communities. For all of the aforementioned reasons,
it is essential that this bill is enacted.
2016: A9602; referred to Ways and Means.
2017-18: A1918; referred to Ways and Means.
An overall cost savings to the State is anticipated, where public trans-
portation is utilized at lower reimbursement rates than other modes of
transportation currently being assigned.
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have
become a law, provided that the amendments to subdivision 4 of § 365-h
of the Social Services Law, made by Section One of this act, shall not
affect the expiration and repeal of such section and shall expire and be
deemed repealed therewith.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
January 9, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. LIFTON, PALMESANO -- read once and referred to
the Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the transporta-
tion of eligible persons residing in a rural area
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The opening paragraph of subdivision 4 of section 365-h of
2 the social services law is designated paragraph (a) and a new paragraph
3 (b) is added to read as follows:
4 (b) Where the commissioner of health elects to assume such responsi-
5 bility from a local social services district, and after any required
6 federal approval, authorized transportation for an eligible person,
7 whose originating location exists within a county defined as a rural
8 area pursuant to subdivision seven of section four hundred eighty-one of
9 the executive law, shall be assigned to an existing public transporta-
10 tion system, as defined in subdivision one of section eighteen-b of the
11 transportation law, if that system provides an appropriate, available
12 and least expensive mode of transportation.
13 § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
14 have become a law; provided, however, that the amendments to subdivision
15 4 of section 365-h of the social services law, made by section one of
16 this act, shall not affect the expiration and repeal of such section,
17 and shall expire and be deemed repealed therewith.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.