Baltimore County residents who meet certain criteria can take advantage of CountyRide, a specialized transportation service for general purpose travel. This program is designed to provide last-resort transportation for outpatients, wheelchairs, and stretchers who have no other means of getting to and from medical appointments. To ensure the safety and well-being of all customers, it may be necessary to cancel trips for routine medical appointments and prioritize the most serious medical transports during periods of bad weather. In order to be eligible for this service, you must have medical assistance (Medicaid) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene requires medical certification from a doctor that you cannot use public transportation due to a specific medical condition. This form must be completed and signed by your doctor and then faxed or mailed to the Baltimore County Health Department. Once enrolled, requests for travel assistance must be pre-scheduled.
Trips can be booked up to seven days in advance and must be requested 24 hours before the appointment or medical service. Same-day transportation is not provided. Recipients should be waiting to be picked up at the designated time and place. If the recipient is not present at the designated time and place for pick-up, that trip can be counted as “no-show”.
Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the need to confirm all future appointments in advance or other penalties may be imposed. During periods of bad weather, transportation services may be restricted or canceled. The safety of recipients and drivers is a priority. Recipients should call the county or their transportation provider on the day of the inclement weather to check the status of operations. Hart to Heart is the contracted provider for Baltimore County and offers covered transportation for medical care to and from medical appointments, as well as discharges and transfers from medical centers. Wheelchair customers can travel with other customers and their companions to and from appointments, but not a private wheelchair van transportation service.
Customers traveling by ambulance will not travel with other customers, as there is only one customer per ambulance. The Maryland Medical Assistance Program covers the cost of these transportation services and there is no cost to you, as long as your trips are pre-organized and reviewed by the Baltimore County Health Department or its representative. To qualify for this service, you must be a Baltimore County resident with eligible medical assistance and have absolutely no other way to get to and from your medical appointment. You should ask your medical provider to complete and sign a Baltimore County Medical Transportation Certificate form and send it to the Baltimore County Health Department or Hart to Heart, as appropriate. Regular shuttle services operate Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m., while discharges and transfers to medical centers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Many customers in wheelchairs and stretchers need someone to accompany them to their medical appointments, while others may travel alone. When organizing your trips, let the Health Department staff know if you are taking someone with you because of your medical condition. At first, you will get a warning that if you don't show up for an appointment, you may have to call the county the day before any future appointment to schedule a ride. You will also receive an advance confirmation notice that requires you to call the day before the appointment to schedule your trip. This includes recipients who have standing orders for repeat appointments. As it is a shared trip program (except for transportation on a stretcher), due decorum and respect for other passengers is expected at all times.
Passengers are reminded that in these vehicles you cannot eat, drink or smoke. The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or service provision.