Local Transportation Merger Gives More Options for Medicaid Patients

Two local transportation companies will be cementing a recent merger that will help hundreds of Medicaid patients in the Ross County area obtain local and out-of-town non-emergency medical transportation.

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Ross County Transportation LLC, in operation for the past six years, is merging with the recently established Connect Transportation Services.

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Melissa Givens is the owner and operator of Ross County Transportation LLC, and a partner of Connect Transportation Services. She says this merger will allow the two companies to combine their resources and provide them the purchasing power necessary to take over the discontinued non-emergency medical transportation services for Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health, which boasts a client database of hundreds of individuals, all needing out-of-county transportation.

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"It just gives us enough buying power to take over transportation for Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health," said Givens. "They were shutting their transportation down. The database is around 680 clients, with half of those dialysis clients in Ross County, and they go out of county every day."

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In addition to the transportation of for Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health, the company also provides other forms of non-emergency medical transportation, and even holds the adult transportation contract for the Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

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"We do the non-emergency medical transportation which is Medicaid transportation," said Givens. "We also do all of the DD Pioneer School transport for adults; to their jobs and facilities here locally. And then there's a part of it that is self-pay where people retire but they make too much money to get any assistance but they still need to go to dialysis and cancer treatments and The James and The Cleveland Clinic and those kind of things. We also do para-transit which is wheelchair transportation from door to door."

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Melissa says most of the company’s larger contracts will operate under the Connect Transportation Services moniker.

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Melissa says she took over Ross County Transportation LLC around six years ago after serving as the director of the Chillicothe Transit System, and later overseeing the state’s Go Bus program, which provides inter-city connections with Greyhound.

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She says after her father became ill and needed regular medical transportation, she discovered that he held too high of an annual income to receive state transportation assistance. While researching her father’s options, she said she learned of a transportation assistance program offered through Job & Family Services, which seemed many residents in the area were unaware of. It couldn’t help her father, but she realized the need for an outlet of the program in Ross County.

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Melissa says she started with just a few vehicle’s but has since grown the fleet to 27 vehicles, which make around 150 to 200 non-emergency medical trips in and out-of-town daily.

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The merger of Ross County Transportation LLC and Connect Transportation Services will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony next week at the company's facility, located at 1338 Delano Road in Chillicothe. It'll take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19th.

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