In a joint investigation, the Town of Brookhaven, along with the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General found a Southampton taxi company, which picked up Medicaid recipients and transported them to appointments, was not licensed to operate in the town, officials stated in a press release.
Hometown Taxi faces up to $26,000 in fines after racking up 52 tickets and is currently suspended from operating in Brookhaven. They also could face NYS violations.
The charges against the Southampton taxi company came out of a larger investigation of unlicensed cab companies operating in the town. In Brookhaven, cab companies are required to be licensed by the town. Also, under state law, cabs that pick up Medicaid recipients for medical appointments must be licensed by municipalities in which they do business.
“Brookhaven Town and New York State take Medicaid violations very seriously and we will continue to pursue any company that operates without a license to the fullest extent of the law,” said Brookhaven town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R). “I have asked the town attorney to proceed with the investigation until every company is in compliance.”
According to Hometown Taxi’s website, the company provides transport to medical offices, airports, wineries and other destinations. Hometown Taxi’s fleet includes vans, taxis, sports utility vehicles, town cars and taxis. The company’s service area extends to the East End including the Hamptons.
“Hopefully this will send a message to other similar cab companies, they need a license to operate in the town even if its Medicaid,” Romaine said. “It’s our job to enforce this and it’s the town’s responsibility.”
The town has also been informed by the Medicaid inspector general that several other taxi companies have been providing transportation services for medical care involving Medicaid recipients without the proper licensing under New York State code 18 NYCRR §500.
Romaine said the investigation into unlicensed taxi companies is still ongoing and more developments could come out in the next month or two.