Protected Transportation under Medical Assistance Fee-for–Service: Questions and Answers

Date: 07-01-2016

Level-of-service (LOS) assessments

Providers and rides


Q: Is it necessary to confirm the person is on Medical Assistance?

A: A protected transportation provider must confirm the person’s eligibility for Medical Assistance before providing any service. The only way to ensure reimbursement from Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) is to confirm the person is eligible for both Medical Assistance and protected transportation.

Q: Is there an age limit for protected transportation?

A: Protected transportation does not have an age limit. Refer to Transportation of a Minor in the Nonemergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Guide.

Level-of-service (LOS) assessments

Q: Is it necessary to complete the protected transportation level-of-service assessment?

A: Medical Assistance covers the least costly type of transportation that meets the person’s needs. The assessment is the tool the crisis team uses to ensure protected transportation is the most appropriate type of transportation.

Q: It is unclear how the questions on the assessment result in the determination of eligibility. For example, if the person is aggressive, is protected transportation correct or should the person be referred to other transportation?  If the parent refuses to ride along, does that change eligibility?

A: The protected transportation level-of-service (LOS) assessment only determines if use of protected transportation is appropriate for the situation or event taking place at that time. If the crisis team member completing the LOS assessment feels using protected transportation is inappropriate due to safety concerns, he or she must consider other forms of transport. These could include transport by ambulance or law enforcement personnel.

The protected transportation or other Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) transportation providers are not required to transport a minor without a parent, guardian, responsible person, etc.

Q: Is DHS offering specific training for assessing individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), developmental disability (DD) or substance use concerns?  Are you going to reimburse for the staff time and resources needed to train all team members?

A: DHS is working on training for mental health crisis providers regarding IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities), DD, TBI and substance use concerns. We are developing a training plan and will post information about it on the DHS website when it is available. We will share any information about training with teams as it is developed.

Mental health crisis providers can bill the mental health crisis grant for staff time, just as they do for other trainings and nonreimbursable screenings.

Q: Can other providers do the level-of-service assessment for protected transport?

A: DHS selected the crisis teams to perform the assessment to ensure a consistent resource for the LOS assessment would be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As we implement protected transportation and the related processes, DHS will note any issues and concerns. We will then evaluate and reassess the process in 12–18 months.

Q: It seems like this is only for crisis teams.  What if the crisis team does not identify a crisis? Does the crisis team respond to a call from a recipient or facility just to do the transportation assessment or only if they are already doing other work with the person? 

A: Protected transportation is not just for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Using mental health crisis teams to do the level-of-service assessment for protected transportation was a decision based on accessibility to teams at any time of day, 365 days a year, and the training and expertise of the crisis team staff. You could get referrals for the level-of-service assessment from any sources.

Providers and Rides

Q: Will there be multiple service providers in an area?

A: Transportation providers are not required to provide protected transportation. However, we know that several companies are providing this level of transport. Find a current protected transportation provider through the Provider Directory.

Q: How long will it take for a transportation provider to pick up the person once the request is made?

A: DHS does not require certain hours of operation for protected transportation providers. The time between when the ride is requested and when the person is picked up will depend on the availability of providers at that time.

Q: Is the service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week , including holidays?

A: Providers may choose to offer protected transportation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days. However, we do not require that protected transportation providers be available at all times.

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