Attorney General James Orders 78 Transport Providers to Immediately Stop Endangering New Yorkers
Attorney General James Orders 78 Transport Providers
to Immediately Stop Endangering New Yorkers
Sends Cease & Desist Notices to 78 Providers Conducting
Prohibited Group Rides in Violation of NYS Orders
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today ordered 78 medical transportation companies and providers of transportation services to Medicaid recipients in and around Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse to immediately cease and desist conducting prohibited group rides. A statewide investigation, conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, revealed that dozens of transportation providers have failed to follow the state’s requirements explicitly prohibiting medical transportation providers from conducting medical transports with more than one occupant per vehicle. Despite the prohibition, these providers have continued to conduct group rides, which often involve transporting multiple individuals to medical appointments or clinics.
“We have invested a particularly high level of trust in our medical services providers during this crisis,” said Attorney General James. “For these companies to continue to conduct group medical transport rides in the face of an explicit prohibition during the unprecedented outbreak of a highly contagious disease, is simply and completely unacceptable. We take these violations very seriously, and my office will deploy any legal means necessary to stop providers from endangering their patients and the general public."
On March 21st, in response to the rapidly expanding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance explicitly prohibiting medical transportation providers of services to Medicaid recipients from conducting medical transports with more than one occupant per vehicle. This guidance was issued by DOH in an effort to facilitate social distancing measures, which have been mandated by the state, and are especially vital in the medical transport context. This behavior poses a clear and immediate danger to public health, risks the continued spread of COVID-19, and puts all New Yorkers at risk. Should providers fail to immediately comply with these notices, Attorney General James is vested with the authority to compel compliance through various legal remedies.
Number of companies in each region that the Office of the Attorney General found were in violation of the state’s orders:
- Buffalo – 31 companies
- Rochester – 17 companies
- Syracuse – 15 companies
- Albany – 15 companies
The Office of the Attorney General continues to actively monitor medical transportation providers throughout the state to ensure compliance with DOH’s guidance, and will continue to take action against anyone found in violation of this guidance. If you believe you have information concerning such a violation, please contact the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hotline or call 833-249-8499.