Blues and Lyft forge al­liance

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Rachel Z. Arndt

In another blur­ring of con­sumerism and health­care, one of the na­tion’s largest payer or­ga­ni­za­tions and ride-shar­ing firm Lyft have forged a new al­liance.

The part­ner­ship be­tween the Blue Cross and Blue Shield As­so­ci­a­tion and Lyft is aimed at help­ing com­mer­cially in­sured pa­tients get to med­i­cal ap­point- ments at no ex­tra cost for pa­tients. The ser­vice will be avail­able for only cer­tain Blues in­sur­ers in spe­cific ar­eas that are con­sid­ered “trans­porta­tion deserts.”

The hope is that us­ing Lyft in these ar­eas will al­le­vi­ate one of the main causes of missed or de­layed ap­point­ments. It’s another move in the tran­si­tion from fee-for-ser­vice care mod­els to value-based ones that de­pend on out­comes; get­ting pa­tients to show up can some­times be the first step to im­prov­ing health out­comes.

Pa­tients won’t need to down­load the Lyft app to use the pro­gram. In­stead, rides will be booked through doc­tors’ of­fices and soft­ware will de­ter­mine which pa­tients are el­i­gi­ble for Lyft trans­porta­tion.

Although this is Lyft’s first com­mer­cial in­surer agree­ment, it al­ready has sim­i­lar part­ner­ships with other parts of the health­care in­dus­try. In De­cem­ber, the com­pany an­nounced it would work with As­cen­sion for pa­tient trans­porta­tion, and ear­lier this year, it joined with Lo­gis­ti­care, a trans­porta­tion man­ager, to help with rides for Medi­care Ad­van­tage and Med­i­caid ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

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