Transporting Patients Drives New Partnership
In a bold move to provide greater access to healthcare, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association plans to partner with ride-sharing company Lyft. This team-up is being built with the goal of reducing the number of delayed or missed doctor's appointments and tests, commonly related to a lack of dependable transportation.
In speaking with reporters about the partnership, Gyre Renwick, Lyft's Head of Healthcare Partnerships outlined the importance transportation plays in the healthcare industry. The overall goal of the new program is to eliminate the barriers faced by the elderly and those in low-income areas. Many of these people do not own a smartphone or lack the technical acumen for using other transportation services.
Lyft made the first move by reaching out to BCBS and the program will roll out between now and the fall at no cost to patients. The technical team at BCBS is working to incorporate Lyft's software platform into a new delivery model which will manage the rides on BCBS's behalf.
This is especially critical in rural areas where medical care is beyond walking, biking and public transportation which can be lacking altogether. Patients in these communities struggle to get the health care they need even if they have health insurance. Dr. Trent Haywood, BCBSA Chief Medical Officer and President of the BCBS Institute committed to addressing these types of issues which expand beyond typical health care services yet are vital to people's lives.
Partnerships like these are Lyft's way of competing with the ever-growing Uber. As BCBS has over 106 million members nationwide, it was definitely a smart move on their part. Not only does ride sharing provide transportation to people who need it, it does it affordably and conveniently. Though Uber has similar partnerships, Lyft is definitely ahead of the game in this department.