Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) on last week announced a national partnership with the rideshare company Lyft to provide members access to no-cost transportation for health care appointments.
According to Forbes, the partnership is part of BCBSA's efforts to shift from fee-for-service to value-based and population health models. BCBSA CMO Trent Haywood said, "We can no longer ignore these barriers in health care called social determinants of health," adding, "You see high emergency room utilization rates where you have poor infrastructure. You need to be in every community to pull off what we are trying to pull off."
Through the partnership BCBSA will use its database of 106 million members to identify communities that lack optimal transportation to reach health care facilities, which the association says contributes to "missed or delayed medical appointments" for more than 3.5 million U.S. residents.
According to Forbes, BCBSA will integrate Lyft's concierge service platform, which focuses on giving senior citizens rides to medical appointments, into its delivery model to reduce the number of missed non-emergency provider visits.
BCBSA plans to roll out the pilot program at select BCBS companies over the next few months. The program will eventually expand to provide rides for patients who are covered by Medicaid or Medicare benefits Blue Cross plans, Forbes reports.
Enrollees in affected areas will be able to schedule rides through their medical providers or Blue Cross plans, which will then book the transportation services through Lyft. Enrollees will receive confirmations and alerts about the scheduled ride on their phones.
Lyft President John Zimmer said a "partnership [of] this size with BCBS allows us to reach all 50 states" in a way that is critical to "help make our communities stronger and families healthier" (Japsen, Forbes, 5/10; Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/10; Morse, Healthcare Finance, 5/10; Blue Cross Blue Shield release, 5/10).
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