EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A El Mirage woman relies on the state to get to and from doctor appointments, but she says her ride hasn't been showing up.

Sara Smith says she schedules several doctor appointments each week through Medical Transportation Brokerage of Arizona, or MTBA.

She says the company constantly tells her it lost her reservation, is late to send her a ride or it just doesn’t show up.

“I just want them to actually care and know that they're affecting people's health in a really negative way,” says  Smith.

She says the company is contracted through Medicaid.

“These last six appointments, they've just not shown up,” said Smith. ”Three of them say they lost my reservation altogether.”

MTBA told Arizona’s Family it’s investigating, so it can’t give us many answers.

A company representative said its dispatchers call cabs to pick up patients.

Patients make appointments at least 72 hours in advance, and then dispatch calls for a ride an hour before it's scheduled to arrive.

Smith said the lack of service is affecting her health because she’s missing appointments.

“If I had made it to this appointment four or five days earlier, could I have avoided being in the hospital?” said Smith. “Would they have been able to catch something sooner?”

Smith said she’s called to complain about a dozen times.

She said the only solution supervisors gave her is to call them earlier if the ride doesn’t show. Smith said by that time, she’s already too late to make her appointment.

Since her story aired, three more patients called the newsroom to say they have the same story.

Arizona’s Family will continue to call MTBA until it can come up with some answers.

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(8) comments

JenniferG

it is devastating to see Mrs. Smith complaint about MTBA and the insurance plan. my grandmother uses that transportation and i am grateful that she can get transportation the times she can when theirs no one else that can take her, So I thank MTBA everytime I call to set up transport. I live in the same neighborhood and Mrs. Smith and i have witnessed several times where she gets into a cab and i'm 100% sure it was to go to her doctors appointment because it is the same type of cab my grandmother takes, but i am also a bit confused she has two vehicles parked outside of her house so in that case why can't she drive herself or have someone else take her since no one shows up. MTBA does use LYFT for a second option if the driver doesn't arrive 15 min after the pick up time LYFT arrives no more than 6-8 min so how is it possible that she isnt getting picked up.......

Dean

"Sara Smith says she schedules several doctor appointments each week " Man she must really be sick or a hypochondriac. Probably the latter.

JustSaying

Uber? Lyft?

Dean

Obama care. sigh.

ShadyBear

I've filed a few complaints with the BBB about MTBA ... they are fAr from having their jobs together. Just google MTBA phoenix ... see how many complaints they have places & google reviews.. i'm not the first oR last to file with BBB because they don't know how a business works. Now- due to being understaffed they're giving Lyft business. I usually stand outside waiting for a ride home from a medical appt 30m to an hour usually. It's usually closer to an hour just standing around. It's sad that most ppl can't do their jobs these days.

JustinP

It's not like there aren't tons of alternatives for transportation. If the current firm can't handle it, then give it to a new one.

JF Conlon

Tons of alternatives . . . ha ha ha ha ! Please let the insurance companies know if you know of a reliable one. Many stranded people would appreciate it!

Debbie

It has nothing to do with the insurance companies, this is MEDICAID/AHCCCS. They are the ones who contract with MTBA. So anyone on Medicaid, goes through them.

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