Protected Transportation is a state administered nonemergency medical transportation (NEMT) transport level of service. It is intended for use by a recipient who received a transportation level-of-service (LOS) assessment, and whose assessment determined that other forms of transportation are not appropriate. The recipient must require transport by a provider who meets both of the following criteria:
Mental health crisis teams certify the recipient for protected transportation services using the Protected Transport Level-of-Service Assessment (DHS-6715) (PDF). They base certification on the specific situation and needs of the client at the time of the protected transportation request. Protected transport certification is for a single date and a single transport (one trip or one trip leg).
Refer to the mental health crisis contact numbers for the crisis team contact for each county.
For hospital to facility transports, a licensed health care practitioner employed by the hospital can certify the recipient for protected transport using the Protected Transport Level-of-Service Assessment (DHS-6715). The recipient must be stabilized and the transport distance less than 100 miles.
Once the mental health crisis team or licensed health care provider within a hospital has completed the protected transportation level-of-service (LOS) assessment and approved the recipient for protected transportation, they must fax or send a secure or encrypted email of the completed assessment to KEPRO within 48 hours. KEPRO will update the recipient information in MMIS within 48 hours of receiving the approved protected transportation assessment form.
If the protected transport LOS assessment determines protected transportation is not appropriate, the mental health crisis team or the hospital will fax or send a secure or encrypted email of the denied protected transportation LOS assessment form to KEPRO for storage.
Fax information to KEPRO at 844-673-8033 or send a secure or encrypted email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find additional information for protected transports in the Protected Transportation under Medical Assistance Fee-for–Service: Questions and Answers.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must certify protected transportation providers and they must enroll with MHCP. Refer to the Provider Enrollment page for MHCP provider enrollment criteria.
Protected transportation providers must deliver the level of assistance the recipient needs at the time of transport. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
If an incident occurs during the protected transport, the provider must submit the following information to Bob Ries at DHS via an encrypted email to email@example.com:
Verify the recipient’s eligibility for an MHCP program that includes protected transportation in the benefit set. However, inclusion in the benefit set does not guarantee payment.
State Administered NEMT Vehicle Requirements
All protected transportation vehicles must meet MnDOT certification requirements in Minnesota Statutes 174.29 and 174.30. This includes all other MnDOT vehicle identification requirements for a MnDOT certified provider.
All protected transportation drivers and attendants must meet the training requirements for protected transportation.
All protected transportation transports require a driver and an attendant to be in the vehicle during transport of the recipient. If the recipient has been stabilized in an emergency department immediately before the transport and the total trip is under 100 miles, an attendant is not required. Drivers and attendants need to complete at least six hours of training from the options listed below. A mental health crisis team member who meets the required 40 hours of annual training has met the training requirements for the protected transportation driver or attendant positions. Training options include the following:
For recipients enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO) or transportation services provided through a waiver program, refer to the Eligible Recipient section of the Nonemergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Services (Overview) page, in addition to the following:
To be eligible for protected transportation services, a recipient must be impaired physically or mentally in a way that keeps him or her from safely accessing other forms of NEMT services and ambulance transport is not appropriate. The recipient must meet level-of-service (LOS) certification criteria. The recipient must also meet one of the following criteria (refer to MHCP Benefits at-a-glance for specific program information):
Eligible recipients must, at the time of the protected transport request, meet the following protected transportation certification criteria:
Recipients certified for protected transportation may use the MHCP Provider Directory to locate and schedule transport with an enrolled state-administered NEMT protected transportation provider. The recipient is responsible for locating and contacting the provider for transport. The mental health crisis team may help locate a protected transportation provider and schedule the protected transport.
Protected transport is a covered service when an MHCP enrolled provider provides the transport to an MHCP recipient who the mental health crisis team or hospital has certified for protected transportation. The provider must use a protected transportation vehicle for the transport. Protected transportation services require that a driver and attendant be in the vehicle during the transport of the MHCP recipient, unless the recipient was stabilized in an emergency department immediately before the transport and the trip is under 100 miles, in which case an attendant is not required.
Wait at least five days from the date of transport to submit the claim. The mental health crisis teams and hospitals have 48 hours to fax their assessment document to KEPRO. KEPRO has 48 hours to enter the protected transportation certification span into the recipient’s file in MMIS. Protected transportation certification information is not available through MN–ITS eligibility verification until this process is completed.
Protected transport requires a driver and an attendant be in the vehicle during each transport. Additional payment for the attendant is not a separately reimbursable charge. If the recipient has been stabilized in an emergency department immediately before the transport and the total trip is under 100 miles, an attendant is not required.
Refer to the Billing Policy section of the Nonemergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Services (Overview) page for general billing information. Bill protected transportation using the service code and modifier combinations as follows:
Minnesota Statutes 245.461 to 245.468 Minnesota Comprehensive Adult Mental Health Act
Minnesota Statutes 245.462 Definitions
Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625, subdivision 20 Mental Health Case Management
Minnesota statutes 256B.0625, subdivision 17 Transportation Services
Minnesota Statutes 174.29 and 174.30 MnDOT Operating Standards