How to become a Medicaid transportation provider in New York State?

Wondering how to become a Medicaid transportation provider in NY? The Ny State DOH is responsible for the registration. Read on to learn more!

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How to become a Medicaid transportation provider in New York State?

Transportation service plays an essential part in ensuring patients have reliable access to medical care. Barriers to transportation often lead to missed appointments and delayed care or medication. Poor disease management and health outcomes are the dire consequence of this problem.

There are generally two types of NY medical transportation:

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation 

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is a professional service offered to people who don't require immediate medical care. Seniors, people with disabilities, and those with medical conditions that prohibit them from getting around can use this service to get to doctor’s appointments or scheduled therapy sessions. 

Depending on the client’s needs and medical condition, NEMT service providers offer different types of transportation. 

Ambulatory Transportation

This type of NEMT is the most common. Ambulatory transportation is for people who can walk on their own and don’t need special medical equipment to travel. 


This wheelchair transport service is for those who cannot walk on their own and need a wheelchair to get around. The car is designed specifically to fit a mobility device, and the drivers are trained professionals who can assist clients with getting in and out of the car comfortably. 


This medical transport service is for people who cannot sit upright. Though transported in a stretcher, those who schedule this service don’t require urgent medical care during transit or upon arrival at the destination.

NEMT Flights

This type of transport is just like a regular flight on a commercial airplane. The client is provided with a transport nurse as an escort. People who need to travel long distance utilize this service. Common reasons for NEMT flights include:

  • Traveling to consult a specialist or obtain medical care that’s not available in their locality
  • Returning home after an injury
  • Moving seniors or people with chronic medical conditions to another state

Emergency Medical Transportation   

Also known as ambulance or paramedic service, this type of transport is for people who need emergency care. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an emergency refers to “any event that puts the health and life of a Medicaid beneficiary at serious risk without immediate treatment.”

Basic Life Support Ambulance (BLS)

BLS service usually has two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on the team, aside from the driver. They're trained to administer non-invasive treatment to the patient.  

h4. Advanced Life Support Ambulance (ALS)

Aside from the two EMTs, a paramedic is onboard an ALS ambulance. The paramedic is trained to administer medications and perform life-saving treatments. An ALS ambulance is equipped with cardiac life support and monitors, airway equipment, and glucose testing device, unlike a BLS ambulance.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

When Medicaid was established in 1966, transportation service was already one of the benefits covered by the program. This government insurance program recognizes the critical role that free transportation service plays for patients who face impediments to getting the medical care they need. 

In fact, according to an American Heart Association report, as many as 3.6 million Americans don't access necessary medical care due to transportation barriers. Furthermore, 4% of children weren't able to access important medical care for the same reason. This is the third leading cause of patients missing doctor’s appointments.

To qualify for this Medicaid benefit, the state may require a beneficiary to prove there's an unmet transportation need by completing a Medicaid transportation form. An unmet need may include:

  • Having physical, developmental, cognitive, and mental limitations
  • Not having a driver’s license
  • Not having a working car in the household
  • Inability to travel or wait for transportation alone

Members enrolled in mainstream managed care and fee-for-service are eligible for Medicaid transportation in New York. Medicaid only covers travel to doctor’s clinics, hospitals, and other medical care facilities. It does not cover travel to non-medical locations like gyms, schools, or government offices. Trips must be requested 72 hours ahead of the appointment. And the transportation manager must approve the trip prior to the scheduled date.

To learn how to apply for Medicaid transportation services, simply visit their website and give their transportation managers a call. Similarly, you can also create an online account and fill out the Medicaid transportation application form.

It is also important to note that non-emergency medical transportation travel is not just a state Medicaid benefit. Some private insurers also offer this service.

MAS (Medical Answering Services) Transportation  

MAS is a transportation management company that coordinates with their transportation providers and Medicaid enrollees. The company provides prior authorization, trip assignments, and call center services. 

To be eligible for MAS Medicaid transportation, enrollees must verify their transportation abilities by filling out the medical justification 2015 form (CLICK HERE FOR FORM). The enrollee's medical practitioner must complete the MAS transportation application before sending it to the transportation manager. MAS will then review, approve, and file the form. Without this form, MAS transportation Medicaid beneficiaries will only be provided with three courtesy rides.

Aside from NEMT, Health and Recovery Plan (HARP) enrollees are also eligible for non-medical transportation through MAS. In this instance, MAS can authorize two types of trips:

  • Getting to and from Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (BH HCBS) destination
  • Non-BH HCBS destination related to a goal in the enrollees' plan of care (POC). This service is time-limited, with a specific start and end date.

Requesting a Ride with MAS

The patient, a family member, a care coordinator, and a medical provider can request a ride with MAS. Although MAS will do its best to accommodate last-minute requests, a booking is not assured unless you request the trip at least three days in advance.

To request a NEMT service, the following are required:

  • Member’s Medicaid ID, SSN, date of birth, address, and contact number
  • Pick-up and drop-off location
  • Physician’s name
  • Date and time of appointment
  • Preferred vendor
  • Mode of transportation required

You can book the ride online by logging in to the MAS website or calling the MAS Transportation phone number: (844) 666-6270. Alternatively, you can fax the MAS transportation request form to (315) 299 2786. The representative will ask for the same information as the online request. 

The system will go through the MAS transportation list of providers and assign a vendor. An invoice number will be provided once the booking is confirmed.

Medical Transportation Phone Number

Booking a ride with a NEMT provider is easy. A quick Google search will give you many medical transportations phone numbers. The phone number is readily available on its website.

But with all these choices at your fingertips, how do you choose which service is best for you? Here are some tips:


The fastest way to know what kind of service you are likely to get is by checking what previous clients have to say about a provider. NEMT providers, with a reputation for always being on time, tell you they have a good system in place. So, you are more likely to not have your time wasted waiting for your ride.


Going on a trip for medical reasons is stressful as it is. The last thing you need is to deal with delays due to a broken-down vehicle. To make sure this does not happen, ask the provider how often they perform inspections on their fleet and if the vehicles are in pristine condition.


While NEMT providers do not handle emergencies, it does not mean they never happen while on the road. It is best to ask the provider how they handle emergencies and if their system allows them to check on their vehicles in real time.

Quality Service

How well does the provider care for their clients? Do they care enough to know their client’s specific needs in advance? Well-trained NEMT drivers are always considerate of their client’s medical conditions and extend assistance without being asked to.

You need more than a Medicaid transportation phone number to book a ride. Sometimes, a bit of research can save you from hours of hassle on the trip.

How To Become a Medicaid Transportation Provider in NY

Wondering how to become a Medicaid transportation provider in NY? The New York State Department of Health is responsible for the registration and approval of companies that want to become Medicaid Transportation providers. 

Driver Criteria

In general, the State will require drivers to have current and appropriate licenses for the type of vehicles they are going to drive. In addition, the driver may also have to go beyond the minimum requirement, like going through a background check and complying with health exams. Besides this, Medicaid NEMT drivers must have soft skills as they are expected to extend courtesy and respect to clients.

Vehicle Criteria

Prospective transportation providers must present vehicle documentation and maintenance requirements. This ensures that the vehicle used to transport Medicaid recipients belongs to the right entity and is in excellent working condition. Additionally, proof of State-required liability insurance is also necessary.

To learn more on how to become a NEMT provider in NY, visit the eMedNY website. 

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