The Medicaid program, a joint federal and state health insurance program, provides funds for health care providers and suppliers that perform or deliver medically necessary services for eligible Medicaid recipients. Each state establishes its own Medicaid regulations, which vary depending on the state plan. However, two federal regulations form the basis for all Medicaid reimbursement for transportation services and ensure a minimum level of coverage for transportation services. First, all states that receive federal Medicaid funds are required to assure transportation for Medicaid recipients to and from medical appointments (42 CFR 431.53). Second, federal regulations further define medical transportation and describe costs that can be reimbursed with Medicaid funds (42 CFR 440.170(a)).
In short, Medicaid often covers transports that are not typically covered by Medicare, such as transports in wheelchair vans, cabs, and ambulettes. However, the transports are subject to strict coverage and payment rules. The state Medicaid Fraud Control Units and federal law enforcement have pursued many fraud cases related to transportation services billed to Medicaid programs. Ambulance suppliers should review the Medicaid regulations governing their state or service territories to ensure that any billed services meet applicable Medicaid requirements.