NY AG orders 31 Buffalo-area medical transport companies to stop conducting group rides

Western New York

FILE – In this June 11, 2019, file photo, New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference, in New York. New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont have filed a new legal challenge to new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who use public assistance including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. James, a Democrat, says the change is a “clear violation” of American values and 100 years of case law. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thirty-one medical transportation companies which provide rides to those on Medicaid in the Buffalo area have been ordered to stop providing group rides.

The 31 in Buffalo are among 78 in this area, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany.

On March 21, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) ordered these companies to stop conducting medical transportation services for Medicaid recipients with more than one occupant per vehicle.

Cease-and-desist orders were issued by Attorney General Letitia James on Friday.

“We have invested a particularly high level of trust in our medical services providers during this crisis,” James said. “For these companies to continue to conduct group medical transport rides in the face of an explicit prohibition during the unprecedented outbreak of a highly contagious disease, is simply and completely unacceptable. We take these violations very seriously, and my office will deploy any legal means necessary to stop providers from endangering their patients and the general public.”

James told News 4’s Chris Horvatits that about 1/3 of the companies that were sent cease-and-desist notices have responded and indicated they will stop providing group rides.

“The others, we’re continuing to have discussions with,” James said.

The AG noted if the remaining companies refuse to comply, she could try to obtain a restraining order, and possibly pursue criminal sanctions.

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