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New Study Suggests Rideshare Services Improve Healthcare Access

Published on Aug 27, 2020 at 7:34 am in Rideshare Services.

According to a recently released Lyft blog, rideshare services are helping improve access to preventative care, reduce the strain on hospital emergency departments, and provide an improved overall healthcare experience for Medicaid beneficiaries.

The analysis looked at three Lyft healthcare partners, including AmeriHealth Caritas DC, Centene, and Amerigroup Tennessee. AmeriHealth Caritas DC is a Medicaid plan serving more than 100,000 residents in the Washington D.C. area and Centene serves underserved populations.

AmeriHealth has partnered with Lyft since 2017. The overall effects of Lyft transportation were evaluated from April 2018 to April 2019 on 11,400 Medicaid members. In regard to healthcare utilization, the study found:

  • 40% decrease in emergency department utilization
  • 15% decrease in low acuity non-emergent ED utilization
  • 12% decrease in ambulance utilization
  • 45% increase in compliance rate for 42 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures

According to Jerome Schorr, AmeriHealth director of quality management, “This data is a strong indicator that Lyft is helping to shift utilization from emergency services to primary care — a key driver of improved utilization and cost.”

When Centene began working with Lyft in 2018, the partners launched pilot programs at four subsidiary health plans: Buckeye Health Plan in Ohio, Sunshine Health Plan in Florida, Peach State Health Plan in Georgia, and Superior Health Plan in Texas. Centene reported the following data after evaluating the impact of those health plans:

  • 66% decrease in member-rider complaints
  • 99% on-time arrival
  • 85% of rides receive 5 out of 5 stars
  • 1-star ratings dropped from 10% to 1%
  • Average wait time decreased from 28 minutes for a traditional non-emergency medical transportation ride to just seven minutes for Lyft

Shea Long, Centene vice president of innovation, had this to say about the benefits of rideshare services: “Transportation is usually the first and last touchpoint for a consumer accessing care and has a big impact on how they engage with the healthcare system. When rides aren’t convenient or reliable, it often results in delayed care and a disjointed member experience.”

In 2019, Amerigroup Tennessee, an Anthem company, partnered with Lyft to improve access to care for its members. A 12-month pilot was started in Memphis, and the partnership was expanded statewide. In regard to access to primary care, the study showed:

  • 50% decrease in primary care gaps
  • 44% increase in primary care physician visits
  • 90% decrease in transpiration-related grievances
  • 92% of rides receive 5 out of 5 stars

In response to the findings, Robert Garnet, president of Amerigroup Tennessee, said, “Lyft has actually made it easier for our members to access primary care. Before, when someone wasn’t feeling well and had to schedule a ride three days in advance, that delay in seeking care meant they may end up in an emergency room or urgent care as a result. We’ve made it easier and faster for members to meet with their doctors and ultimately stay healthy.”

Lyft plans to continue exploring new ways it can make a positive impact on the healthcare industry for providers and patients.