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Polk Co. girl who depends on wheelchair vans to get to the doctor was repeatedly stood up, mother says

Mom made a call for action to Jackie Callaway
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Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 18:35:15-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A 10-year-old Winter Haven girl who depends on wheelchair vans to get to medical appointments is being repeatedly stood up and stranded by the service, according to her mother, who made a call for action to Consumer Reporter Jackie Callaway.

Tina Sweet said her daughter, Star, barely survived the genetic disorder that left her dependent on machines to stay alive. Sweet said it is critical that her daughter make it to multiple doctors' appoints each month.

But Sweet said the medical vans covered by insurance are no-shows at least half the time – even after she has made repeated calls to the company.

“They say they will try to find somebody, and we already know what the answer is: she is not making it to her appointment that day,” said Sweet.

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Sweet said she panicked the night Star was left stranded at a doctor’s office after the medical van never showed up to take her home.

ABC Action News called and emailed WellCare about the no-show rides, and a spokesperson responded the next day in an email saying, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are addressing the issue with the member.”

Sweet said the company called her a couple of days later.

“They said they wanted to do everything to make this right, and they are going to be monitoring it indefinitely,” said Sweet.

That was in January. Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway reached out to Sweet on March 1, and she reported the medical vans now show up regularly and on time.