Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Veyo office in Windsor (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT —  At the request of Rep. Cathy Abercrombie, the Auditors of Public Accounts will review the performance of a state contractor responsible for providing non-emergency transportation to Medicaid patients.

“We asked them to look into different issues because we are still hearing complaints from consumers,” Abercrombie said Friday.

The audit of Veyo started June 10. It’s unknown when it will be completed.

The auditors, according to the letter of engagement, requested access to “individual authorized trips” for each month, in addition to financial records, minutes of meetings, written policies and procedures, as well as interviews with employees.

“After our auditors’ work has been reviewed and approved, you will have a chance to comment on a final draft of our report and any findings it then contains,” the letter states.

Abercrombie said she hopes the audit also helps the Department of Social Services realize they’re the “gatekeeper,” for the performance of the contractor and the information they provide. “I don’t believe that’s happening,” Abercrombie added.

She said the monthly numbers Veyo reports don’t seem to match up with the anecdotal information they’re receiving from patients who use the service, which is federally mandated.

Veyo CEO Josh Komenda said they are proud of what they’ve accomplished in Connecticut.

“Our goal is to provide the most reliable and transparent transportation possible for Medicaid members throughout the state using technology and tracking tools that no other broker has,” Komenda said. “Employees at every level — from call center operators to clinical coordinators to drivers — are required to undergo and maintain significant levels of training, which can include HIPAA training, sensitivity training, and customer service training, to ensure that we are constantly setting new standards for service quality and member satisfaction.”

Veyo’s three-year, $140-million contract with the state Department of Social Services started in January 2018. Veyo, which doesn’t own any fleet of vehicles, must contract with taxi and livery companies or independent drivers to offer rides to Connecticut’s 800,000 Medicaid patients. The company also distributes bus passes and reimburses family and friends for mileage if they end up driving a patient to the doctor.

In January, attorneys with Connecticut Legal Services filed a class action against the Department of Social Services, which oversees Veyo. The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit complained they did not receive the necessary rides to their doctors. A federal judge is waiting for the parties involved in that lawsuit to settle their differences. The two sides are expected to report back to the court on the progress of their settlement talks on July 15.

Komenda told a committee that oversees Medicaid services in April that they have contracts with 80 commercial providers and 250 independent drivers. Since starting the contract they have removed 18 underperforming providers, placed 14 on corrective action plans, and added 17 new providers.

Earlier this week, Komenda announced that it would be adding Eagle Medical Transport, Greenwich Taxi, and Prospect Limo as providers to help service the southwestern portion of the state.

“Given the dense population of southwestern Connecticut, and its well-known issues with traffic congestion, we wanted to make sure our operations in the region are more than capable of matching demand and providing all our members with the transportation services they need,” Komenda said. “Adding these providers will play a significant role in making sure we hit this goal.”

In May, according to the reports posted on the Department of Social Services website, the company completed 421,918 trips. Of those 261,653 were on public transit, which means the company sent a bus token to the patient to use to get to their doctor.

In April Veyo reported that they completed 405,050 trips and 243,966 of those were by public transit.

In May Veyo reported about 10.44% of the patients never showed up for their rides. That’s an increase from 8% in February.

Patient advocates have expressed concern about whether those numbers are accurate and are pleased lawmakers requested the audit.

Veyo operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, and Texas. Its relationship with the state of Idaho ended in 2017 when the state asked them to provide services that were not covered by the contract. Komenda said it made the business model unsustainable.