Local Medicaid patients who need a ride to the doctor can now begin scheduling those rides through TAPS Access.
Reservations may be made for health care trips on Sept. 1 or later.
TAPS (Texoma Area Paratransit System) was awarded a Medicaid contract by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission earlier this year. TAPS created a whole new operating unit called TAPS Access to provide non-emergency medical transport services to an estimated 55,000 Medicaid recipients in a 16-county “super region” that includes Wise County along with Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin, Cooke, Cottle, Fannin, Foard, Grayson, Hardeman, Jack, Montague, Wilbarger, Wichita and Young counties.
TAPS Access began scheduling appointments Friday, and transportation services will begin in one month.
TAPS has provided Medicaid transport in the past, but this is the first time the Sherman-based public transportation service has been directly awarded a Medicaid contract. In previous years, Medicaid contracts have been awarded to private transportation companies, which has led to complaints about poor service and possible Medicaid fraud.
Due to those complaints, Senate Bill 8 was passed in the last session of the Texas Legislature aimed at reducing Medicaid fraud. TAPS CEO Brad Underwood said he worked closely with legislators who were crafting the bill. The final bill included language that would make TAPS eligible to apply for the Medicaid contract.
Local Medicaid recipients, Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) program members or Transportation for Indigent Cancer Patients Program (TICP) members in need of a ride can now call the expanded TAPS call center at 1-877-633-8747 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule a ride. To check on your ride, make a change or to return home from your appointment, call the Ride Assist Line at 1-866-339-5290 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
For information on TAPS Access, visit tapsaccess.com.