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Analysis

Ride Sharing Network for COVID-19 and Other Patients Launched in NYC

By Mandy Roth  
   May 14, 2020

Ride Health's network includes vetted providers who adhere to CDC guidelines to minimize risk.

Safe ride sharing options for patients in the era of novel coronavirus is a challenge that just became a bit easier in New Your City thanks to Ride Health's newly launched COVID-19 equipped transportation network. The COVID-19 equipped vehicles include standard and wheelchair-accessible vehicles, stretcher vans, basic life support ambulances, and advanced life support ambulances.

Ride Health, a New York-based patient transportation network that provides non-emergency transportation services and vehicles to get patients to and from appointments, has individually vetted transportation providers in its network to ensure their policies and procedures comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as well as state-specific health authority guidance for COVID-19, according to a news release. Standards include continuous use of personal protective equipment, sterilization of vehicles between every ride, and daily health checks for drivers. The company already operated in New York and more than 30 other states; the COVID-19 procedures are new.

Because public transportation and ride sharing carry risk of exposure to coronavirus, many have been avoiding these forms of transport. Yet access to private vehicles is limited in New York City. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, only 45 percent of all households in the city own a car; that figure dips to 22% for Manhattan residents. 

Safely transporting those who have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 is an issue that Ride Health set out to resolve, according the company's CEO and founder Imran Cronk. In addition, the network provides a solution for healthcare organizations that manage and need to transport vulnerable patient populations, such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions.

“With social distancing and stay-at-home measures, as well as limitations on testing, common forms of transportation such as ride-hailing and public transit are no longer viable means of moving patients who have been exposed to or are positive for COVID-19,” says Cronk.

Ride Health contracts directly with health systems, health plans, hospitals, and healthcare organizations.

"Ride Health’s curated network of COVID-equipped transportation providers will help healthcare organizations safely discharge or transfer patients who have been exposed to the virus, as well as maintain access to life-sustaining treatments for patients with chronic medical conditions, including those who prefer to receive care in their homes," according to the release.

Local PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) organizations and community-based social wellness agencies such as Federation of Organizations are among the first to use the network, which serves all five boroughs of New York City and surrounding areas including Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Ride Health


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