Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives

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Important Information About Bayou Health for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Providers

Now that Bayou Health has transformed the Medicaid program and how health care is delivered for nearly 900,000 recipients, Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers need to know

  • How non-emergency trips are authorized and scheduled, and
  • Where providers should submit their claims for payment.

The information below answers common NEMT trip authorization and claims submittal questions.

How NEMT trips are authorized and claims processed for 1) Medicaid recipients not enrolled in a Bayou Health plan who remain in regular Medicaid, 2) Medicaid recipients enrolled in the Shared Savings Plans (UnitedHealthcare and Community Health Solutions)

The Louisiana Medicaid contractor for non-emergency medical transportation is First Transit, and this organization authorizes NEMT trips. First Transit authorizes non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid recipients not enrolled in a Bayou Health Plan - those who are in "regular" Medicaid/fee for service.

Additionally, First Transit authorizes non-emergency medical transportation for all Bayou Health Medicaid recipients enrolled in the two shared-savings Health Plans, UnitedHealthcare and Community Health Solutions.

Molina, the Medicaid fiscal intermediary, will receive and process (pay/deny) claims submitted by NEMT providers for these Medicaid recipients.

How NEMT trips are authorized and claims processed for members of the Prepaid/MCO Plans (1 Louisiana Healthcare Connections, 2) Amerigroup, and 3) AmeriHealth Caritas.

Three of the Bayou Health plans - Louisiana Healthcare Connections, Amerigroup and AmeriHealth Caritas -- are responsible for authorizing trips and processing claims for non-emergency medical transportation provided to their members.  Each Plan is responsible for establishing their own  trip authorization and claims processes, and the Plans are required to share this information with providers contracted  in that Plan.  Therefore, the authorization and claims processes (and reimbursement policies) may be different for Louisiana Healthcare Connections, Amerigroup and LaCare than the NEMT processes and reimbursement policies for recipients in traditional Medicaid, Community Health Solutions, or UnitedHealthcare.

These Health Plans (Louisiana Healthcare Connections, Amerigroup, and AmeriHealth Caritas) use a subcontractor for NEMT.  DHH reviews and approves any subcontracts these Health Plans make for services-including NEMT-that are greater than $100,000. The contractors for these three plans to handle non-emergency medical transportation for its members are:

  • Louisiana Healthcare Connections -- TMS
  • Amerigroup - Logisticare
  • AmeriHealth Caritas -- Logisticare

The Health Plans' NEMT subcontractors enter into the actual contracts with NEMT providers. Trip authorizations and claims will then be handled through that Health Plan's subcontractor.  The details and processes likely differ among these three Plans, and these should be fully addressed in the contractual agreements that the non-emergency medical transportation providers sign with the Health Plan subcontractors.

DHH fully expects that Louisiana Healthcare Connections, AmeriHealth caritas and Amerigroup will be able to provide non-emergency medical transportation to their members and have processes in place for their contracted NEMT providers to receive authorizations and submit claims for payment in each region of the State. Each Health Plan will provide the subcontractor with a list of Medicaid recipients enrolled in that plan by the first day of each month.

NEMT Provider Responsibilities

The subcontractor that authorizes and arranges the transportation for members of a Health Plan may verify Medicaid eligibility and Health Plan membership prior to arranging for the non-emergency trip.  However, verifying Medicaid eligibility and Health Plan membership prior to providing non-emergency services is ultimately the responsibility of the NEMT Medicaid provider. Bayou Health recipients will receive a card from their Health Plans that contains a hotline number for verifying membership, similar to those used for commercial insurance patients. This number will be clearly printed on the cards so NEMT providers can quickly contact a Health Plan and verify a patient's Medicaid eligibility and Health Plan membership.

NEMT providers can discuss the verification issue during their contract negotiations with the Health Plans and/or their NEMT subcontractors to address any concerns they have. NEMT providers can email if they have questions or want more information about Bayou Health.