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Case Study Suggests Lyft Is Improving Health Outcomes, Access for Medicaid Recipients

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   August 20, 2020

Lyft Vice President of Healthcare Megan Callahan shares insights about a NEMT case study on Medicaid members from AmeriHealth, Centene, and Amerigroup.

Since 2016, the rideshare company Lyft has worked with healthcare organizations to offer reliable, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) to patients.

In a new case study, "the impact of rideshare on healthcare access and quality for Medicaid recipients" is reviewed based on results from Lyft's healthcare partners AmeriHealth, Centene, and Amerigroup.

AmeriHealth Caritas DC, a Medicaid plan that serves over 100,000 residents in the District of Columbia. evaluated the overall impact of Lyft transportation from April 2018 to April 2019 on 11,400 Medicaid members. The partnership between AmeriHealth began in 2017, and it works with Lyft "through a transportation manager called Access2Care," said Lyft Vice President of Healthcare Megan Callahan.

The analysis found Lyft users had positive health impacts, including:

  • A 40% decrease in emergency room (ER) utilization
  • A 15% decrease in low acuity non-emergent (LANE) ER utilization
  • A 12% decrease in ambulance utilization       
  • A 45% increase in compliance with Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures

"To me, this is really impactful because it shows the correlation between Lyft and improvements in appropriate healthcare utilization," Callahan said. "That HEDIS measure improvement really jumped off the page for AmeriHealth."

Centene, which serves underserved populations, partnered with transportation managers to utilize Lyft at Buckeye Health Plan in Ohio, Sunshine Health Plan in Florida, Peach State Health Plan in Georgia, and Superior Health Plan in Texas. "We did several different pilot programs for Centene health plans across four different states," Callahan said. "I think the headline there was around decreased wait time."

An analysis found improved positive member experiences, including:

  • A 66% decrease in member-rider complaints
  • A 99% on-time arrival rate
  • 5-star ratings for 85% of rides
  • 1-star ratings dropping from 10% to 1%
  • The average wait time for a ride decreased from 28 minutes for a traditional NEMT to just seven minutes for a Lyft ride

"That 66% decrease in grievances is really a big driver and indicator of an overall better healthcare experience for Centene," Callahan said. "Because of that stat, Centene is now implementing Lyft in every Medicaid market that allows for rideshares. They're going with what we call a Lyft-First Model, because of the success."

Amerigroup Tennessee has worked with Lyft since 2019. "They're a forward-looking health plan; passionate about looking for ways to address social determinants of health," Callahan said. "They partnered with Lyft to start a 12-month pilot in Memphis, and based on the success that they saw, they quickly moved to scale the service statewide."

An analysis found an increase in primary care access, including:

  • A 50% decrease in primary care gaps 
  • A 44% increase in primary care physician (PCP) visits 
  • A 90% decrease in transportation-related grievances 
  • 5-star ratings for 92% of rides

"This access to primary care through Amerigroup was a huge boon to see how we can impact primary care utilization," Callahan said.

Lyft currently works with "nine out of the top 10 health systems, nine out of top 10 transportation managers in the United States, as well as [all 10] of the top 10 payers or insurers," Callahan said. "… We are able to provide rides in 14 states and D.C., and that has the potential to impact and give 29 million people access to healthcare. That's really important to us. I think you will continue to see us push to add additional states to that statistic and continue to drive value for Medicaid members and vulnerable populations."

Editor’s note: This article was updated August 20, 2020.

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

Photo credit: Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine - May 10, 2019: Lyft logo on smartphone screen. Lyft is an American company offering transportation services online. Illustrative editorial. / Editorial credit: Volodymyr Plysiuk / Shutterstock.com


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