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State Investigates Death of Medicaid Recipient

November 10, 2005
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

Governor Blunt has ordered an investigation into the death of a southwest Missouri Medicaid patient. Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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63 year-old Medicaid patient William Reed was waiting for a ride to a doctor's appointment in St. Louis, but his ride never picked him up. Investigators don't know if the ride was late or if Reed was already dead. A spokesman for Governor Blunt, Spence Jackson says the Governor's office is working with the Department of Social Services to determine what happened.

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"It's inappropriate to assert blame on anyone, we just need to try and find out what the facts are and just try to make the best decisions we can based upon those facts."

The state isn't ruling anything out, including changing the state's Medicaid transportion provider.

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Bente Birkeland.

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The Governor's office says it's considering changing Medicaid transportation providers, after hundreds of complaints and the death of a southwest Missouri man.

Bente (BEN tah) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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The state is investigating whether a 63 year old man's death is related to Medicaid transportation delays. Medicaid recipient William Reed never made it to his doctor's appointment in St. Louis because his ride didn't pick him up. Governor Blunt's spokesman, Spence Jackson says the state doesn't know if Reed was already dead, or if his ride was late.

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"We're trying to look into that, trying to create the facts, trying to create a time line so that we can understand it, take corrective measures if necessary. Notify the providers, anything we need to do to prevent this from happening again, we're going to do."

The Department of Social Services is scheduled to give recommendations to the Governor by the end of the month.

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Bente Birkeland.

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The Governor's office is examining the death of a 66 year-old Medicaid recipient. Bente (BEN tah) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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The state is investigating why a southwest Missouri man never made it to his doctor's appointment in St. Louis. William Reed died on Tuesday, and was scheduled to get a ride with the state's new Medicaid transportation provider. Hundreds of people have complained about delays and missed medical appointments since the new provider started service. Governor Blunt's spokesman Spence Jackson, says the state doesn't know if the provider had anything to do with Reed's death.

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"The important thing to note is that we're talking about non-emergency medical transportation. Certainly emergency medical transportation is available to any Missourians by dialing 911."

The new transportation provider, Logisticare says its working with the Governor's office to determine what happened.

From the state Capital, I'm Bente Birkeland