The move was driven in part by a CMS decision to open reimbursement channels for Medicare Advantage plans looking to innovate with supplemental benefits that can promote health outside of the clinical care setting.

A lack of transportation is often cited as one of the top factors in preventing access to healthcare services, negatively affecting more than 3.6 million patients annually.

Seeing the tremendous need in the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) market, rideshare service Lyft have stepped in to fill in the gaps in the existing transportation infrastructure with the overarching goal of cutting that number in half by 2020.

Now, Lyft has expanded its partnerships with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana (through its collaboration with LogistiCare) to service Medicare Advantage plan members.

The move was driven in part by a CMS decision to open reimbursement channels for Medicare Advantage plans looking to innovate with supplemental benefits that can promote health outside of the clinical care setting.

Lyft initially inked a deal with BCBS back in 2017 to provide its service to members without transportation alternatives to get them to healthcare facilities for appointments.

That partnership is being expanded to include certain BCBS MA plan members to provide transportation – not only to medical appointments – but to the pharmacy and fitness centers as well.

Traditionally, NEMT has been provided through a series of specialized transportation brokers, which have often seen low customer patient satisfaction, long wait times, as well as issues with fraud and abuse.

Lyft pitches its solution as faster, more reliable and cheaper than alternatives and has partnered with NEMT providers like Circulation, RoundTrip and Logisticare to make its service available to healthcare organizations.

Lyft and Logisticare’s partnership dates back to 2017 when the companies announced a deal to provide on-demand rideshare services to Logisticare’s network of private, commercial and government assisted clients.

Building on that work, Lyft NEMT services will now be available to select Humana MA plan members through LogistiCare.

“At Humana, we understand that health is about more than what happens in the doctor’s office – many other social factors, like transportation, can have a direct impact on health and well-being,” Alan Wheatley, president of Humana’s Retail Segment, said in a statement.

In order to enable these service expansions Lyft has also further developed its Concierge feature, which allows organizations request or schedule rides for others and manage their portfolio of rides.

These capabilities are especially important for the patient population in Medicare Advantage members, who may not own a smartphone or lack the technical or physical capabilities to request their own rides.

The upgrade now allows organizations to quickly compare cost options upfront and track members along their rides.

Since launching its healthcare business back in 2016, the business line has become the largest segment of Lyft’s enterprise division with customers across a range of health care categories including startups like Call9, health systems like Hackensack Meridian Health and electronic healthcare vendors like AllScripts.

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