Man's Issues with Transportation Costs for Medical Treatment

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SANTA ROSA - A Santa Rosa man voiced his concerns after the state stopped helping him pay for transportation to treatment.

Resident Delphino Mendoza said he pays more than $100 every month to travel back and forth to his dialysis treatment in Weslaco. He said the gas mileage reimbursement checks help relieve some of the cost.

Mendoza makes the drive from Santa Rosa to Weslaco every week. He said the visits can be pretty costly.

“I’ve been on dialysis for 18 years,” he said. “Since we got dialysis, three times a week they help us with gas the little that they can.”

Mendoza said he’s part of the Kidney Health Care Program. The Texas Department of State Health Services oversees the program, which gives benefits such as dialysis treatments, access surgery, drugs, covers travel expenses to healthcare visits and Medicare premiums.

“My only income is just Social Security… I can’t work because of my disability, but I wish I would because it is very hard and difficult,” he said.

Mendoza said he called the state program to try and get some answers.

“It took me 30 minutes to get through. The lady answered the phone and after I told her I needed to speak to someone regarding this issue, she hung up on me,” the man said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Christine Mann with the Department of Health Human Services Commission. Mann said the system showed mileage checks for January and February had already been mailed out to Mendoza.

“If this is happening to me can you imagine the elderly people that are going through this, that don’t know how to speak English. They don’t know who to speak to regarding this issue,” Mendoza said.

The Santa Rosa resident said he will continue to make his weekly trips to the dialysis center with or without a check.

Anyone that finds themselves in a similar situation like Mendoza’s can contact the Texas Medicaid Program at 1-877-541-7905 or the Texas Renal Coalition at 512-441-3444.

Count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to continue following Mendoza’s story. 


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