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Idaho Medicaid patients have a new, Uber-like way to get to the hospital: 6 things to know

Due to a contract change, the nearly 300,000 Idahoans on Medicaid have a new company, Veyo, to rely on for their transportation to the hospital — but relations with the company are off to a slow start, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Here are six things to know about the situation.

1. Idaho awarded Veyo a three-year contract for $70.4 million to transport Medicaid patients to the state's hospitals. Idaho's previous contract was with Greenwood Village, Colo.-based American Medical Response. AMR served as the state's nonemergency medical transportation system for multiple years. But when the contract expired at the beginning of July, Idaho handed the bid to Veyo, which proposed lower costs and technical updates.

2. San Diego-based Veyo was created approximately one year ago. The startup's parent company is Total Transit. In January, Veyo unveiled an Uber-like model — which includes GPS, cloud-based systems and real-time tracking — as part of its services.

3. Other Idaho transportation companies fear Veyo will boot them out. Boise, Idaho-based Trinity Transport already closed its doors earlier this summer due to low payments from Medicaid. Kleeta Newby, owner of Boise-based KDN Transportation, also expressed worries about closing due to low payments from Medicaid. "We personally have never had a raise [from Medicaid] in 10 years," she said, according to the report.

4. Veyo launched on July 1 and has received mixed results, according to KLEWtv.com and the Statesman. The first week after its launch, Veyo drivers made 20,000 trips. Its missed trips rate was 1 percent, according to Veyo.

5. Some Idahoans have expressed explicit complaints against Veyo. Sharon Boltz cares for her autistic daughter and roommate, both of whom are on Medicaid. When they had to go to a developmental therapy center, a Veyo driver picked them up and was going to leave them at the center nearly 20 minutes prior to its opening. After Ms. Boltz spoke with the driver, he agreed to stay with the two women, but Ms. Boltz wasn't happy.

"I've never had a feeling of such sadness when I sent [my daughter] off," she said. Veyo left her with "the worst feeling in the world," according to the report.

6. Veyo founder Josh Komenda said things are "going really well," according to the Statesman. "On time rates [are] 99.5 percent, and grievance rates are 0.1 percent. ... Much, much lower than industry standards," he added.

*Editor's note: This article was updated on July 15.

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