Transplant Patient's Death Not Related To Transportation Woes, Report
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 13, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI--A state report has found that Willie Reed died last month of natural causes hours before his ride was scheduled to take him to the hospital.
Police were called to Reed's home on the evening of November 8 to find his body in the living room near the front door alongside his packed bags.
A Medicaid kidney-transplant patient, 63-year-old Reed had arranged to be picked up for the trip to the hospital at 4:00 in the morning, about 16 hours earlier. The ride, scheduled with transportation service provider OATS Inc., never came.
The scheduled pick-up time happened at a time when the state was transferring Medicaid transportation contracts. November 8 was the first day OATS Inc. started serving Medicaid patients under a subcontract with new provider LogistiCare.
Governor Matt Blunt had ordered a review of Medicaid transportation procedures and an investigation to determine whether the missed ride had anything to do with Reed's death.
According to the Associated Press, police and state investigators determined that Reed's death had nothing to do with transportation bungles.
Investigators found that LogistiCare was wrapping up negotiations on their contract with OATS the day before Reed's scheduled pickup time. When Reed's request came in for his ride to the hospital, the OATS operations director found his company could not fulfill that request. That director failed to notify Reed and other riders.
Reed, however, would likely not have been alive to receive any notification, the report suggested.
"It was pretty clear that the state non-emergency medical transportation contract had nothing at all to do with a very tragic and unfortunate incident," Blunt said Friday.
"Report: Medicaid transition did not cause death" (Associated Press via St. Louis Post-Dispatch)