Human Service TransportationIntroduction
The BRTA is one of six Regional Transit Authorities in Massachusetts that broker transportation for consumers of three state agencies; the Department of Medical Assistance (known as MassHealth, DMA or Medicaid), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The BRTA provides this service for the thirty-two cities and towns in the Berkshires, as well as the Town of Monroe, under a contract with the Human Service Transportation (HST) Office in Boston. The BRTA has contracts with area service providers and schedules trips with them for DMA consumers. Trips for DPH and DDS consumers are also provided under contract and scheduled in coordination with their respective state agencies.
The BRTA commenced brokerage operations in July 2001 following a successful proposal submittal. During our first year we brokered approximately 80,000 trips. Today there are approximately 131,000 trips annually brokered for all three agencies. The BRTA was again successful in our proposal to continue brokerage operations under a new five-year contract with the HST Office beginning effective July 1, 2007.
Three full time staff members work in our brokerage and provide service to customers during normal business hours. In addition to trip scheduling work, brokerage responsibilities include site inspections of vehicles and drivers, attendance at regional and state-wide meetings with HST and other brokers, oversight of service quality, auditing of vendor invoices, and billing to HST for reimbursement.Mass Health/Medicaid Transportation
This program provides non-emergency Transportation to doctor appointments for MassHealth clients with Standard, CommonHealth, and Care Plus coverage who are unable to use public transportation (due to location or a disability).
Transportation is arranged through the BRTA after an approval from Mass health is received. Members work with their doctors to submit PT-1 forms (Prescription for Transportation) to the MassHealth office. The approval process takes three to five days from when MassHealth receives the form. A PT-1 form needs to be completed for EACH specific location that a client needs transportation to. Additional information and assistance is available by calling the MassHealth Customer Service Center (800) 841-2900 or visit the MassHealth web sites www.mass.gov or www.massresources.org.
For Fiscal Year 2013, 1,002 Berkshire County MassHealth clients received 67,983 rides to necessary medical appointments in wheelchair vehicles, livery vehicles and taxi cabs.DPH/ Early Intervention Transportation
Transportation services are provided for children up to age 3 with developmental difficulties attending any of the three Early Intervention Program sites within Berkshire County. For Fiscal Year 2013, 138 children received 4,958 rides. Anyone interested in this program may learn more by visiting www.mass.gov/dph/ or www.massfamilyties.org.Department of Developmental Services Transportation
Transportation services are provided to the six DDS Day Habilitation Programs within the county and several job site locations. Arrangements are made by contacting the consumer's DDS service coordinators. For Fiscal Year 2013, 252 consumers received 98,236 rides, on 48 van routes providing transportation in wheelchair and passenger vans. Anyone interested in this program may learn more by visiting www.mass.gov/dds/.