BCBS, Lyft to increase access to healthcare in areas with limited transportation options

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The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has struck a deal with Lyft to ensure Americans are not missing their healthcare appointments simply because they lack reliable transportation.

This partnership exemplifies Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s (BCBS) commitment to bringing private and public entities together to improve community health. “A strategic alliance with Lyft will allow us to positively impact and improve Americans’ health nationwide,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, BCBSA chief medical officer and president of the BCBS Institute. “We are committed to addressing issues like transportation that are inextricably linked to health outcomes, yet can’t be tackled through health care resources alone,” he added.

Over the next several months, BCBS will incorporate Lyft services into a service delivery model for select Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies — at no cost to members. Said model couples BCBS technology with Lyft’s ride-share services to reduce the number of missed appointments for non-emergency medical care in areas without optimal transportation alternatives servicing healthcare facilities.

“Lyft has been working closely with healthcare providers to get more people to the doctor when they need it, and a partnership this size with BCBS allows us to reach all 50 states,” John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft, said in a statement. “This type of cross-industry partnership is a critical way to help make our communities stronger and families healthier.”

It is estimated that 80 percent of health outcomes are driven by social determinants of health including lifestyle behaviors and environmental factors. Transportation barriers alone result in missed or delayed medical appointments for an estimated 3.6 million Americans. While assistance is available for many who receive Medicaid coverage, millions of Americans are still unable to regularly access care because they lack reliable transportation options.