LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Some Arkansans say they’re being left in the dark as timing problems continue with Medicaid-funded transportation.

In the last year, Working 4 You has investigated situations with an Augusta man left waiting on crucial dialysis pick-ups from the company Verida. Since then, more people are stepping up saying they’re having the same issue.

Most are still asleep, but Mandy Carter is up getting ready for the day. As the hours fade into morning, her Danville street stayed quiet, lit by one single light.

She was headed to a chemotherapy appointment in Little Rock and had to wait for her ride out on the front porch.

“The only transportation I have to depend on, and have for many, many years now, is non-emergency medical transportation,” Carter explained.

As the time ticked closer to her 5 a.m. pick-up, Carter wasn’t confident her ride would show up.

“They just kind of stopped coming, they’d say they’re there and won’t be there,” she said.

Verida, formerly Southeast Trans, has been contracted to provide medical rides to Arkansans since 2013, but in the last couple of years, the company has received multiple complaints for reliability.

“I know I can’t possibly be the only one,” Carter said.

Officials with the Arkansas Department of Human Services recorded 11 verified complaints against the company in January and an additional seven in February.

Tim Evans is another client who relies on Verida and has multiple related health issues. There are some times he has four appointments a month, and he said Verida has shown up for 70 percent of them.

“I don’t need to wait a week, wait another week and keep on and on until they finally decided to send someone out here,” Evans told Working 4 You. “They kept me waiting at a doctor’s office to go home for about 4 hours after the doctor’s office closed.”

Working 4 You called Verida’s corporate office and sent an email to their media team. Late Wednesday, Chief Development Officer Dena Adams-McNeish sent back a statement on this issue.

“At Verida, we understand how important it is for beneficiaries to get to their medical appointment and our goal is for every individual to get to their visit on time. We cannot disclose personal information regarding beneficiaries’ service of care so we cannot speak to individual complaints without their consent. In the state of Arkansas, on average, we manage over 750,000 trips a year. So far in 2023, 99.98% of those trips are complaint-free.”

Dena Adams-McNeish

In both Evan’s and Carter’s cases, care is vital to survival.

“It’s about timing,” Carter said. “You can’t just stop in the middle of it.” said Carter.

Still, hospital rooms have sat empty as patients wait on the curb, leading to their growing concern.

“The word stress does not cover it,” Carter said.

As time ticks on, these two say they’re done waiting.

“They’re not going to change their ways, they make promises, they have plans but they’re not going to do it, they never do,” Carter said.

DHS has been working to get the issue handled and noted that since the first Working 4 You report on this issue in February, complaints have gone down, with four recorded in March.