Thanks to a new CMS rule supporting more non-medical support services, Lyft announced today in a blog post that it will be expanding two existing partnerships to bring company’s non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) service to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
The first builds on a roughly 19-month relationships with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and will provide NEMT to certain BCBS MA plans by the summer. The second expands an ongoing collaboration between Lyft and NEMT broker and coordinator Logisticare, and will see the joint platform come to some Humana MA plan members.
To facilitate its increasing userbase, Lyft also announced that it will be buffing its web-based Concierge product to include greater cost transparency, a more tailed interface for tablet users and automated calls. The lattermost feature in particular was developed with seniors in mind, as less than half of people older than 65 own their own smartphone, the company wrote on its blog.
“We know that scaling investments and partnerships for innovative transportation models will improve health outcomes, decrease costs for patients, payers, and the government, and combat social isolation,” the company wrote. “We look forward to partnering with MA plans around the country to leverage the flexibility provided by CMS to test and make these new models a reality for patients.”
What’s the impact
Patients who don’t have a reliable means of traveling to or from a medical appointment frequently cancel or completely skip out on care. As such, several systems have reported major cost savings in appointment efficiency and preventable care costs following the launch of an NEMT pilot program.
With this in mind, Lyft’s expansions not only represents a growing commitment to its NEMT business, but could play a role in improved outcomes for MA beneficiaries and reduced care costs for the plans themselves.
What’s the trend
Rideshare providers like Lyft have made a staggering number of deals with NEMT coordination services, health systems and payers over the past few years, but there’s also some evidence of market consolidation as well — it’s only been a few months since Logisticare announced that it would be acquiring app-enabled healthcare transportation company Circulation for roughly $46 million.
On the record
“Lyft has been an incredible partner as we’ve worked to leverage their platform to deliver innovative services that improve the health and satisfaction of our members, while reducing healthcare costs," Dr. Trent Haywood, president of the BCBS Institute, said in a statement. "We're eager to expand our already successful partnership with Lyft from our commercial plans to some of our BCBS MA plans this summer — providing even more members with improved access to services that will help improve their health and quality of life."