SHERMAN, TX -- Medicaid patients in Texoma will soon have a new way to get to the doctor, thanks to a government contract for TAPS Public Transit that will also lead to an expansion and a big boost to the local economy.
TAPS Public Transit in Sherman has been awarded a tentative contract for Medicaid transportation services from the federal government.
The contract, which will be made official next week, will allow TAPS to take patients back and forth to medical appointments.
"So someone who is a Medicaid recipient can go to the doctor and get their needs taken care of," TAPS CEO Brad Underwood said.
Right now, if people need to go to the grocery store or post office, all they have to do is call TAPS, but being brought to a Medicaid-related appointment is much more difficult.
"You have to call a separate number at the state of Texas, that trip gets pushed to a separate provider, separate broker, most of them are independent cab companies from Dallas," Underwood says.
"It's providing access for people to healthcare and that's a critical aspect to keeping them healthy," Sherman Economic Development President Scott Connell said.
The local economy will also receive a boost after the Medicaid contract is finalized, as TAPS will add 9 regions to their routes as part of a major expansion. Those regions will require additional buses, supplies, and nearly 100 new employees.
"Everything from an operator to a dispatcher, to a quality assurance director, medical services director, IT," Underwood says. "TAPS is going to be that one-stop shop for any Medicaid rider, so that's a big deal."