Florida Blue and ridesharing service Lyft will offer members with ACA individual plans rides to their doctor’s appointments, ensuring access to care for more members.
Florida Blue has partnered with ridesharing service Lyft to offer rides to members as part of the benefits package of Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual plans beginning in early 2020, according to a recent announcement.
Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, which has offered ACA plans in all 67 counties since the program launched, is one of the largest insurers of ACA plans in the nation, currently serving more than one million ACA members in Florida.
The payer is now looking to better support these customers by addressing issues like transportation and other social determinants of health.
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“We want to support our members and help ensure that a lack of transportation is not a barrier to getting the care they need,” said Chuck Divita, executive vice president of commercial markets in Florida Blue. “We are beginning our partnership with Lyft to serve members with ACA plans, and we will continue to assess ways to expand access to members in other Florida Blue plans in the future.”
Millions of Americans miss medical appointments each year due to lack of transportation, the payer emphasized. “These missed appointments have a dramatic impact on the health care system, leading to increased member medical costs, disruption care, and in turn, increased costly hospital and emergency room visits,” the announcement stated.
Through this partnership, policyholders will be able to request a Lyft promotion code through the Better You Strides Rewards Program. Individuals can also earn up to $100 by participating in a variety of Personal Health Assessment and wellness programs.
“At Lyft we’re focused on improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation while reducing the healthcare transportation gap,” said Ariel Meyer, regional director of Lyft Florida. “To help further this commitment, we’re excited to partner with Florida Blue, making it easier for ACA members to receive the quality healthcare they deserve without transportation as a barrier.
This isn’t the first time that Lyft has used its platform to improve patient access to care. Back in 2017, Lyft partnered with Sutter Physician Services to help transport patients to doctor’s appointments, eliminating that barrier to care.
The partnership allows patients to access Lyft through Sutter’s Patient Service Representatives (PSRs). Patients contact the call center and a PSR will arrange a ride using Lyft’s Concierge Platform when transportation is needed.
“Transportation can be a barrier for certain populations getting to their non-emergent medical appointments, and we’re excited about this enabling technology solution we can provide to our customers and their patients to significantly increase access,” Jeremy Eaves, CEO Sutter said in the announcement. “With Lyft Concierge, our PSRs can offer patients rides to their appointments during the course of their call, and the patient doesn’t need a mobile phone or the Lyft app to take advantage of the service.”
Organizations can create community healthcare partnerships to drive continuous patient engagement and overall culture of health. More recently, payers are looking beyond ridesharing to address different SDOH needs.
The recent medical-legal partnership between Rutgers University and Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors built on their efforts to tackle social determinants of health issues for vulnerable New Jersey patients in the Camden area.
Since the partnership formed in 2017, the Rutgers Law School Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers have greatly improved quality of life for patients dealing with complex care issues.
Social workers and community health staff worked alongside the Camden Coalition nurses to coordinate patient care by connecting patients with a primary care physician or specialist, arrange transportation to get patients to appointments and assist in clean-up of unpaid fines and fees. This helps clients avoid eviction from their homes and prevents employers from wrongfully limiting employees’ disability benefits, according to the announcement.
MLP is actively working to create a clinical program housed at Rutgers Law School in Camden to have faculty-supervised student-lawyers work with clients to offer opportunities to those students facing SDOH burdens.
Source: Health Payer Intelligence