below is from another list: TD Friends: I felt a personal obligation to do my part to educate the Governor and Legislature about pending legislative actions that would negatively impact a great program. I hope each of you at the CTC, county government, MPO, RPC, LCB and user levels will do your part to educate your local legislative delegations as well as Governor Scott about what the TD program has meant to you and your communities. Without this education, these proposals we are aware of and possible other ones may be adopted that would negatively impact the program. It is critical that you do this education as soon as possible since the legislative session starts in early March. Please help the Commission and others get the message acoss to protect this cost effective program but more importantly continue mobility for millions of Floridians who depend on these services. Here is the letter I am sending. I hope to see you at the TD Legislative Day and will continue to do my part for a program that is very special to me. Thank you for helping! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------ Dear Governor Scott and Members of the Florida Legislature I am writing about the successful Transportation Disadvantaged Program that the Florida Legislature created in 1979 and later funded through the creation of the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund in 1989. As the former Executive Director of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (Commission), I was privileged to work on behalf of the State's most vulnerable citizens for nearly 25 of the 36 years before I retired from public service. Because of this successful statewide coordinated transportation program, our elderly, persons with disabilities, low income and children at risk have been able to access medical care, employment, kidney dialysis, nutrition and other life-sustaining trips to maintain and improve their quality of life (over 50 million trips a year are provided). In addition to improving their quality of life, it should be noted that by providing this type of coordinated transportation millions of dollars are being saved. The Commission conducted an independent "Return on Investment Study by Florida State University" that projects over $8 is returned for every dollar expended on transportation. In addition to these cost savings, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) that oversees the Medicaid Non-emergency Transportation Program, conducted a study by the University of Florida that showed over $40 million dollars in cost savings due to the coordinated transportation program. Since this study, AHCA has contracted with the CTD to manage its non-emergency transportation services which has allowed reductions in duplication of services, elimination of fraud and abuse, cost savings and improved access to health care. This contractual arrangement continues to be a national model and should not be included in any proposals for transfer to health care organizations. As can been seen in the two studies as well as the Statewide Annual Operating Reports for past performance of Florida's coordinated transportation program, costs for the services due to coordination have remained stable or reductions have occurred. Safety is at an all-time high for transporting our most vulnerable citizens due to uniform standards of safety that are required by the Commission and the Department of Transportation. I have been fortunate to work at the national and regional area since I retired as Executive Director of this program and I can attest to the fact that Florida has and continues to be a leader in coordinated transportation. Many states and the National Conference of State Legislatures are pointing to the Florida model as one that other states should adopt. As you struggle with tough decisions to address budget deficits and meet other needs, I urge you to maintain this cost effective program under the leadership of the Commission. Please leave the funding and administration of the non-emergency transportation program under the Commission so that the demonstrated cost savings can be continued and that uniform standards for all these services can continue. Lastly, please keep in place the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund administered by the Commission that was created to protect access to dialysis, work, health care and other forms of mobility that those of us with our own transportation take for granted. For more information about the program and the referenced reports, visit the Commission's website at: www.dot.state.fl.us/CTD . If you need me to testify or provide more information, please contact me at 850.524.0394. Thank you for your consideration and for supporting Florida's elderly, disabled and others with their mobility needs in a coordinated manner. Sincerely, Jo Ann Hutchinson Jo Ann Hutchinson Former Executive Director (Retired in 2003) Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged 401 Gould Road Quincy, FL 32351 Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.