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Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University


Medical Necessity; Underserved Populations


This 24-page policy brief examines Medicaid's assurance of medical transportation in the context of medically necessary but non-emergency health care. Reviewing the origins and evolution of the assurance and presenting the results of a 2009 survey of state Medicaid programs, the results of this analysis underscore Medicaid's unique capacity to not only finance medically necessary health care but also the services and supports that enable access to health care by low income persons since Medicaid covers non-emergency medical transportation. This ability to both finance health care and enable its use moves to the forefront as Congress considers whether to assist low income persons in health reform through Medicaid expansions or via subsidies for traditional health insurance, which typically does not provide comparable transportation coverage.


"This work was financed through a contract between the Community Transportation Association of America and The George Washington University. Funds for the project came from the United States Department of Health and Human Service's Community Transportation Assistance Program. The views and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Community Transportation Association of America."

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