DHHS Transportation Services Holding Client/Stakeholder Listening Sessions

FCCAM received information from DHHS that could have impact on family child care programs and the children and families they serve. We encourage you to read the following informational piece and to also share with the appropriate families.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides transportation to approximately 55,000 Mainers each year. These services are provided through various contracts to diverse populations with a range of needs, from children to working families to adults with disabilities. The cost is significant: $83 million per year ($30 million state General Fund), with nearly all covered with MaineCare funds.

We recognized an opportunity to improve and better coordinate these services, so in June 2019, DHHS convened a workgroup consisting of staff from the Offices of MaineCare Services, Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Aging and Disability Services, and Contract Management to perform a comprehensive review. The workgroup’s objective was to assess DHHS transportation services and recommend improvements based on their evaluation.

The workgroup has put forth a series of recommendations to address these challenges. By the time transportation contracts are renewed on July 1, 2020, the group recommends that DHHS: Improve policy and contract language to better align services across DHHS, with the goal of 95% of quality, performance and safety requirements aligning in final contract standards; Communicate with transportation providers to get feedback and understand any barriers to implementing the recommendations; and, Procure an outside evaluation of transportation services.

We will assess a number of options, which could include implementing a single statewide transportation system through a request for proposals (RFP).

Our work will also incorporate communications with clients and stakeholders to learn more about their experience and identify barriers to access to transportation services.

We will hold four listening sessions throughout the state in November:
November 13, 5:30 p.m. – Houlton DHHS office
November 18, 5:30 p.m. – Lewiston DHHS office
November 20, 5:30 p.m. – Bangor DHHS office
November 25, 5:30 p.m. – Portland DHHS office

We look forward to making DHHS transportation services more efficient, accountable and accessible.

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