Starting in 2020, CareOregon will administer the non-emergent medical transportation (NEMT) benefit on behalf of Health Share of Oregon. Known as the Ride to Care program, it provides support to members needing assistance getting to and from medical, dental and behavioral health appointments.   

For information about accessing Ride to Care services, visit: www.ridetocare.com

What is non-emergent medical transportation? 

NEMT is a key element of federal Medicaid benefits. In Oregon, the program for Oregon Health Plan members is comprised of three distinct elements: 

  • Mileage reimbursement for members who have access to a vehicle, but cannot afford the cost of gas (vehicle may be driven by member or a family/friend) 

  • Transit pass for members without access to a vehicle who are travelling between destinations served by public transportation    

  • Hired driver rides for members who are unable to use mileage reimbursement or transit services, typically due to physical or mental health conditions or because the route is unmanageable by public transit   

Why is CareOregon taking over administration of the Ride to Care (NEMT) program? 

Changes are needed to improve the Ride to Care program. In its current form, it is not meeting the needs of members or transportation providers serving the network. 

Health Share asked CareOregon to administer this program because of its experience managing NEMT benefits for the Columbia Pacific and Jackson Care Connect CCOs. CareOregon is working closely with Health Share to build a new model for the Ride to Care program. 

What will the new model look like? 

CareOregon will provide oversight and coordination of contractors helping implement the Ride to Care program. In the new model, the three core functions—call center management, network management and dispatch management—will be provided separately by organizations with expertise and established systems in each area.  

Key roles include: 

CareOregon Non-Emergent Medical Transportation Key Roles

What is the timeline? 

To ensure continuity of services during the transition, there will be an overlap period while the new model goes into effect. CareOregon will phase in its services with a soft launch beginning in early 2020, and Health Share’s current contractor GridWorks will remain in place until March 31, 2020. The CareOregon model is expected to be fully operational by April 1, 2020. 

Key upcoming dates:  

  • November-December 2019:Prepare new model for implementation.

  • January 2020: Soft launch of new model, current NEMT contractor (GridWorks) continues to serve members  

  • March 31, 2020: Last day of contract with current NEMT contractor (GridWorks)  

  • April 1, 2020: CareOregon model is fully operational 

Have contractors been selected? 

Yes, CareOregon is actively working with selected contractors. So far, announcements include: 

Network manager: Local non-profit Ride Connection, Inc. will serve as the Network Manager responsible for managing contracts and relationships with transportation providers. Ride Connection has more than 30 years of experience coordinating and providing rides for older adults and people with disabilities in the Portland metro region. The organization has expertise in network management and deep connections with the region’s transportation partners, social service agencies, community members, and stakeholders. 

Dispatch manager: ComTrans Community Transport will serve as the Dispatch Manager. Based in Clackamas, ComTrans has 24 years of experience scheduling and dispatching vehicles for non-emergent medical transportation. It brings expertise in both dispatch management and providing direct medical transportation, giving it a deep understanding of the needs of drivers and members. ComTrans prides itself in being a leader in trauma informed practices. 

The Call Center announcement will be made in November 2019. 

What will this mean for Health Share members? 

Members will call the same number that they do today to request a ride. The benefit itself (the NEMT services that OHP enrollees are entitled to, as defined by OHP rules) will not change. CareOregon plans to stabilize the program to provide for greater member access to service and a more reliable transportation experience. 

What will this mean for transportation providers that provide NEMT services? 

Beginning in 2020, transportation providers will contract with Ride Connection, Inc. CareOregon was intentional in selecting a respected local community partner that most drivers have interacted with and engaged with in other capacities.   Transportation providers will have direct contact with ComTrans to ensure ride assignments are efficient or to resolve any ride assignment issues. 

Where can I find out more information? 

CareOregon will update this page with new information as it is available. We will include links to publicly available communications, such as press releases and notifications to members and transportation providers below.   

Recent public communications: