CERRITOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A collaboration with Lyft to provide nonemergency medical transportation for CareMore Health System’s Medicare Advantage beneficiaries is already reducing transportation wait times by 30 percent, according to results of a pilot study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Individuals using the service are now waiting an average of just nine minutes to be taken to or from their medical appointment. The JAMA article, “Nonemergency Medical Transportation: Delivering Care in the Era of Lyft and Uber” notes that average per-ride costs have been reduced by more than 30 percent (from $31.54 to $21.32). Satisfaction with the new program, which covers beneficiaries in selected areas of southern California, exceeded 80 percent. CareMore plans to continue the program and potentially expand to markets beyond California.
The federal government currently spends an estimated $2.7 billion on nonemergency medical transportation each year. Individuals with the highest burden of chronic disease and those who are older, poorer and members of ethnic or racial minorities have the greatest transportation barriers. Lack of transportation to medical care can result in delayed treatment, causing chronic diseases to worsen.
“Great clinical care is only great if patients can get to it; ultimately, our partnership with Lyft makes accessing health care easier,” said Dr. Sachin H. Jain, president of CareMore. “Although the program is in the early phases, the results are promising and represent a significant shift – challenging the status quo to do what is right for patients.”
CareMore’s program with Lyft addresses a major health care problem, as research suggests that an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay receiving nonemergency care each year due to transportation challenges. Lack of access to consistent, affordable transportation can cause difficulties in maintaining medical appointments, ultimately affecting an individual’s ability to receive necessary care.
“At Lyft, we’re focused on improving transportation and treating people better,” said David Baga, chief business officer of Lyft. “Providing nonemergency medical transportation is crucial, and we’re proud to be working with CareMore to make a difference in the lives of patients.”
To use the service, patients call CareMore to schedule their transportation, and CareMore and National MedTrans Network, Inc. (NMN), a medical transportation management organization, use Lyft’s Concierge platform to coordinate rides, ensuring patients are picked up faster and transported safely and reliably.
“The collaboration between CareMore, Lyft and NMN is unprecedented in the goal to truly leverage technology to change the patient experience,” said Billy McKee, president of NMN. “We’re pointed in the right direction and making progress.”
The JAMA article was based on data involving 479 nonemergency medical rides among Medicaid beneficiaries in New York and CareMore’s Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in California between May 2 and June 6, 2016. Data was collected and analyzed by authors Brian W. Powers, AB, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School and CareMore Health System; Scott Rinefort, MBA, CareMore Health System; and Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA, CareMore Health System and Stanford University School of Medicine.
CareMore has invested in developing an extensive clinical infrastructure centered on high-touch patient care for Medicare beneficiaries and other populations. Its clinical model is an innovative health care delivery approach that proactively addresses the health needs of members of Medicare and/or Medicaid plans by focusing on prevention and highly coordinated care, resulting in clinical outcomes above the national average. Today, the CareMore model provides care for more than 100,000 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members of health plans in California, Nevada, Arizona, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Iowa and Georgia. CareMore also is participating in a dual demonstration project in parts of Los Angeles County in conjunction with state and federal regulators to coordinate care for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. For more information about CareMore, go to www.caremore.com
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to reconnect people and communities through better transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available in 200 cities. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to driving positive change for the future of our cities.
About National MedTrans Network, Inc.
National MedTrans Network, Inc. (NMN) leverages technology, data and analytics to deliver best in class experiences for varied populations in nonemergency medical transportation and care coordination. Since 2005, we have delivered nonemergency medical transportation benefit management solutions to managed care, governmental, nonprofit, private and consumer-facing payers.