A new transportation voucher program, “Supports for Health,” will be piloted in Tompkins and surrounding counties thanks to funding from Care Compass Network’s Innovation Fund.
This program will help Medicaid recipients to access critical services recommended by their health care provider (or other service provider) but which are not currently eligible for the Medicaid transportation benefit. For example, Medicaid insurance can provide a way for individuals to get to a medical appointment, but it does not provide assistance to get to a pharmacy, buy recommended foods after a hospital stay, or participate in classes to manage a chronic illness.
The goals of this new initiative are to reduce hospitalizations or readmissions for high-risk patients and help them navigate the transportation barriers to getting the services they need. For eligible individuals, the voucher program can provide a limited number of transportation services (for example, by public transportation, Gadabout, taxi, or delivery service) at no cost to the individual.
The Human Services Coalition’s 2-1-1 Information & Referral program will be coordinating this new service in Tompkins County. “We are excited to offer this new service to healthcare and nonprofit organizations to support clients and patients with significant transportation challenges,” said Nicole Roulstin, 2-1-1 Contact Center Manager at the Human Services Coalition. Healthcare providers and community-based organizations will be able to refer clients and patients to the voucher program after participating in a brief introductory workshop. Interested organizations can dial 2-1-1 in Tompkins County to schedule a workshop at their convenience. The Human Services Coalition will also offer an open workshop on Wednesday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m. at its office in the Center Ithaca building. Space for the open workshop is limited; please RSVP by June 11 by calling 2-1-1.
In Tompkins County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County/Move Together NY will be a primary partner in providing outreach to healthcare and community-based organizations. This service will also be available in nearby counties, coordinated in Cortland County by Seven Valleys Health Coalition, in Chemung County by Able2, in Schuyler County by the Arc of Schuyler/Transportation Link-Line, and in Steuben County by the Institute for Human Services. Data will be collected to assess the effectiveness of the program and to guide replication and continuation after the pilot period.
The Arc of Schuyler was awarded the Care Compass Network Innovation Grant to administer the program within a 9-county region, including Tompkins County.
2-1-1 Tompkins/Cortland is a comprehensive information and referral program that connects people in need with services designed to meet that need. You can reach 2-1-1 by phone 24 hours a day (dial 2-1-1 in Tompkins County or 1-877-211-8667 anywhere), by online search or live chat at 211tompkins.org, and now by text message. Text your zip code (must be in Tompkins or Cortland Counties) to TXT211 (898211) Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.