Blues and Lyft forge alliance
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.