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State To Investigate Why Medicaid Patient Died, Apparently While Waiting For Ride

by Dave Reynolds (subscribe)

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express

REPUBLIC, MO--Local police and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt want to know why a Medicaid kidney-transplant patient died while apparently waiting for his ride to the hospital.

Police were called to the home of Willie Reed, 63, last Tuesday evening around 8:00. They found his body in the living room near the front door -- next to his packed bags.

Reed had arranged to be picked up for the trip to the hospital at 4:00 that morning, 16 hours earlier. The ride, scheduled with transportation service provider OATS Inc., apparently never came.

The pick-up mix-up happened during a period when the state was transferring Medicaid transportation contracts. Tuesday was the first day OATS Inc. started serving Medicaid patients under a subcontract with new provider LogistiCare.

On Thursday, Blunt ordered the Missouri Department of Social Services to construct a timeline of when Reed requested the ride, when OATS was notified, and to investigate the kind of procedures LogistiCare has in place to notify subcontractors when a ride is needed.

Chief of Police Mark Lowe told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he did not believe transportation was at issue because Reed likely died before 4 a.m.

"Our estimation is, the victim was probably deceased prior to the time he would have been picked up," Lowe said. "He probably had not gone to bed from the night before."

Lowe said he was waiting for the Greene County medical examiner to determine the actual time of Reed's death.

"Blunt wants answers after man dies waiting for Medicaid ride" (Associated Press via Kansas City Star)
"Medicaid patient, apparently stranded, dies at his home" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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