Lynx Questions and Answers

What are your hours?

Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are closed on State of Maine recognized holidays and, periodically, we close for a staff meeting (generally from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. two to three times per year, as well as one full day per year for training). Someone is available at 973-3693 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. if you need to cancel a ride. This line is only to be used for same-day cancellations.

Why do you have a deadline of two full business days?

Each and every day we arrange 1000+ trips. The two full business days deadline allows us to review all trip requests, locate and assign drivers, get the information to a driver and enter trip assignments into our computer system. We do try to accommodate late requests whenever possible.

How do I know when you are going to cancel transportation due to bad weather?


If schools appear to be closing due to inclement weather, we often will cancel all transportation to ensure the safety of our passengers. We announce this on WLBZ and WABI television networks, as well as Cumulus radio stations, at the same time school closings are being announced. When The Lynx cancels transportation, dialysis appointments are the only exceptions and will still be done. 

 

Why are we told we should not eat or drink while in your vehicles?

We ask our passengers to refrain from this practice for several reasons--one is safety. If the vehicle needs to stop quickly, choking may occur. Another reason is purely for cleanliness. Food gets dropped onto seats that other passengers will be sitting in after you depart. Soft drinks that are spilled are sticky and difficult to clean. When fluids are consumed while riding, the need to use a bathroom becomes more urgent, and we do not make stops at public restrooms--this is an especially difficult problem when we are transporting a child without his/her parent or guardian present.

Why can’t I be picked up or dropped off wherever I want?


If you are being transported to a MaineCare-covered service, we can provide transportation from your home to your medical appointment and back to your home. We only deviate from this with children who are in school before or after appointment times or if a child needs to be dropped off at a daycare that is on route.

Why do you pick me up so far ahead of my appointment?

We try to pick up as many passengers as possible with one vehicle within a one-hour time frame. This helps to ensure that everyone who needs a ride gets a ride. Because of the need to do this, someone may get picked up perhaps an hour plus travel time before their appointment; normally we direct customers to be ready at least one-half hour plus travel time. To be prepared for these situations, it is always best to be ready early for your ride.

Why won’t your drivers wait longer when I’m not ready to go?

We have hundreds of trips to handle each day, and oftentimes the driver will need to pick up other people after they have picked up you. The drivers' schedules are built around appointment times, and our dispatchers try to allow 3 minutes' wait time when picking up passengers. If they are required to wait too long, it will make other people late for their appointments.

I forgot to give you my new address when I called in my appointment. Why can’t I be picked up at this new address today?

In rare circumstances this might be possible, but generally our drivers are scheduled to pick up other people in the area of your old address, and do not have time to drive the additional distance with such short notice.

Why do I have to give you a return pick up time? I don’t always know and could call you when I am ready.

Because of the large volume of trips we do each day, it is impossible for us to have drivers available to go wherever, whenever each person is ready to be picked up. The most efficient way for us to schedule rides for everyone is to establish a pick up time in advance and then work around those appointments that run over the planned time. It is easier to work with a few each day that run late than to make all trips on an as-needed basis. Another reason is due to the fact that not all of our drivers are accessible at all times by phone--again reducing our ability to respond “on call”.

Why do you limit the number of people I can bring with me when I have an appointment? Sometimes I don’t have a babysitter or I want a relative to go with me.

We try to accommodate those times when childcare is an issue, but as a rule, we ask that only the person who needs the ride be in the vehicle. This allows us to meet all of the trip requests by scheduling more than one rider to a vehicle at a time. The more “unnecessary” riders, the fewer seats for those people who have appointments. Those riders who have a bona fide need for an attendant are allowed to request a seat for that person. We always encourage one parent to accompany a child to an appointment whenever possible.

Why do I have to share rides with other people?

We generally have 11 agency vehicles and 100 volunteers on the road on any given day. We may have 1000+ trips scheduled that will require one of our agency vehicles or volunteers. In order to ensure the most efficient transportation, and that everyone needing a ride gets a ride, we must schedule more than one rider to a vehicle whenever possible.

Why am I not allowed to have the driver I want transport me?


Our practice is to accommodate a rider’s request to not go with a certain driver, but we cannot allow riders to request only certain drivers. Our schedules are built each day with as much efficiency in mind as possible. We may need a driver starting from a different location to pick you up on route. It would be inefficient to bring a different driver to your location because of personal preference. If you are having problems with a specific driver, please call our office and speak with a supervisor.

What is this “nearest provider” rule I keep hearing about?


If you receive MaineCare and use THE LYNX for your transportation, we must adhere to MaineCares policies and regulations. MaineCare allows people to select their medical provider, but will only assist with transportation to the nearest provider accepting MaineCare. If you are on Primecare or Healthworks, you have already selected your primary care physician and the nearest provider rule does not apply unless you are requesting transportation to other types of services covered by MaineCare. In that case, we would look at closer providers accepting MaineCare and suggest that we can reimburse you to the closest provider. You can check with closer providers, if you are willing to change providers, or you can request that MaineCare approve your going to a provider outside the catchment area. If you elect to take the last option, we will need a letter of medical necessity from your physician explaining why you cannot receive services locally, and we will request a prior authorization from MaineCare to cover these trips.

The Department of Human Services is paying for my transportation. Why can’t I call and arrange my own trips?

Our contract with the Department of Human Services specifically states that all trip referrals must come from the caseworker or an assigned case manager and that the referral must be in writing. We have to abide by the rules of our contracts.

I do my own transportation and am reimbursed. Why do you sometimes send my paperwork back indicating something is missing?

We return paperwork when beginning and ending odometer readings are missing or when information specific to the appointment or signed verification of the appointment is missing. We are required to keep specific information on file, and when it is not there, we will return the documents for your corrections. Sometimes requests for reimbursement are submitted and the appointment is not in our computer system. MaineCare requires that we have advanced notice of each medical appointment (even if you are doing your own transportation). Please be sure you call appointments in to our office before leaving for your appointment.

Why do you say yes to some trips and no to others?


Each funding source we rely on to cover the cost of transportation has different regulations that we must follow. We need to evaluate each request for transportation to determine if the request can be met in that particular instance. For example: routine dental work is covered for children, but is not covered for adults except in certain instances. Or, mental health counseling through a mental health facility would be covered, but counseling with an LCSW who is not affiliated with a mental health facility or whose work is not supervised by a doctor may not be covered, except in circumstances involving children, or if you reside in specific towns.




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