As the President of Veyo, the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) broker for the state, I’d like to add some details to the recent article, Veyo launches specialized fleet for COVID-positive patients, including more details around the timing of the fleet and why the launch is occurring now.
Unlike ambulance providers, NEMT is not intended to transport individuals with infectious diseases. At the start of the pandemic, Medicaid departments across the country, including DSS, made it clear that individuals with COVID-19 should be transported via a non-emergent ambulance for the safety of members and the community. The majority of NEMT brokers nationwide adopted this guidance, and still retain this policy.
Recognizing the potential strain that this could place on our ambulance companies, our team worked in close coordination with medical consultants and Medicaid Departments, including the Department of Social Services (DSS), to innovate a highly unique, scalable, and unprecedented service to transport individuals with COVID-19. This included extensive vehicle retrofitting, application of EPA-cleaning procedures, extensive driver training, new safety protocols and PPE outfitting.
No other NEMT broker in the country has done this. This was not required by our contract, but our team saw a need and rose to the challenge.
Critics of Veyo, quoted in the article, inferred that this new service –which is not required contractually, not available anywhere else, and developed by Veyo only three months ago – should have been developed sooner. Further, the motive behind our development of this service –to alleviate stress on Connecticut’s ambulatory corps, who were overwhelmed at the height of the pandemic– was brought into question.
The article also included unfounded suspicion around utilization changes and a potential of increased profitability under a capitated arrangement. Let me be clear – our innovative service does not generate a single cent of additional profit for Veyo. Our agreement with the state is defined by a shared risk contract. Any unused funding due to reduced demand will automatically be returned to the state under the contract structure, which clearly states in plain language that Veyo cannot earn a profit of more than 5% under any circumstances.
As we have stated previously, our motive in creating this fleet was to alleviate stress on Connecticut’s ambulance fleets, not to profit off of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For reasons we do not understand, our critics cannot seem to acknowledge Veyo’s unique and proactive steps during an unprecedented public health crisis. Despite this, we will continue to pioneer innovations in NEMT and work hard to deliver quality, reliable service to HUSKY Health Members in Connecticut. The safety of our drivers and members will always be our top priority.
Josh Komenda is the President and CEO of Veyo.