An independent review of the privatization of a state program that transports poor Texans to medical appointments has found that it has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars while serving far fewer people.
The Legislative Budget Board found that after the Medical Transportation Program was privatized five years ago, the number of Medicaid recipients using it has dropped from 350,000 to 150,000.
The Houston Chronicle reports the board also found the number of substantiated complaints has doubled and the per-ride cost to customers has nearly tripled.
Critics say privatization was designed to reduce fraud but has been marred by a sloppy procurement process.
Sen. Jane Nelson, who sponsored the legislation that ordered the privatization, says the report is flawed because it "assumes there was no fraudulent activity" taking place before privatization.