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Hospital Report

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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Ride-hailing Services Can Help Patients with Limited Transportation Options

August 24th, 2016

Case managers know that many Medicare and Medicaid patients may have difficulty getting to much-needed medical appointments. Patients may not have any means of private transportation, or public transit options may be cumbersome or limited. To help alleviate this problem, many health systems across the country are partnering with ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, and medical transportation companies.

Ensuring patients with chronic conditions can make it to routine checkups with their primary care physicians is critical for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital. The following are some examples of health system/transportation partnerships:

  • Nonprofit MedStar Health, which operates in the Maryland/Washington, DC area, has a partnership with Uber in which patients can arrange transportation with the ride-hailing company through the MedStar website or by calling MedStar patient advocates.
  • HackensackUMC in New Jersey is also partnering with Uber to ensure patients have reliable transportation, and the hospital will “assist in supporting the cost” of Uber rides home for those in need.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation company National MedTrans Network teamed up with Lyft to provide on-demand transport to doctors' appointments. l

The drawback for many patients may be cost, however. While Medicaid covers non-emergency medical transportation costs, Medicare typically does not.

Look for more information on how case managers can use ride-hailing partnerships in an upcoming issue of Case Management Advisor.