At Lyft, we’re constantly working to ensure access to transportation doesn’t stand in the way of people getting the healthcare they need. That’s why we are proud to announce our approval to become an enrolled Medicaid provider in Arizona, following new state regulations for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) - which makes Lyft the first national ridesharing company to bring its transportation solution to millions of Medicaid beneficiaries. We are also actively enrolling and exploring opportunities in other states. For patients, this means Lyft will now be a covered transportation option to get eligible patients to and from medical appointments.
Too many Americans are confronted with barriers when they need to see a physician, and without adequate access, this causes missed appointments, delayed diagnoses and often worsening of existing health conditions. But, states across the country, beginning with Arizona, are paving the way by providing ridesharing as a transportation solution in their Medicaid programs. By modernizing the approach and improving access, we have the potential to impact nearly 65 million people -- or one-fifth of the US population.
We’re excited to collaborate with forward-thinking regulators and state legislators, and it’s not just Arizona that’s beginning to incorporate rideshare as a covered option for their Medicaid patients. Florida and Texas' governors just signed bills into law, which will allow ridesharing as a Medicaid transportation option.
Why Medicaid Programs Are Looking to Lyft
Ridesharing is commonplace in cities and communities across the US, and by applying the same technology used by everyday passengers to NEMT, we can ensure access to transportation is never a barrier to care.
Modernizing NEMT through on-demand ridesharing can help state Medicaid programs improve health outcomes, enhance the member experience, and reduce the cost of care by enabling patients to get the care they need today. In fact, based on the findings of an American Journal of Public Health study published in March 2019, modernizing NEMT via rideshare could generate cost-savings of $537 million a year when scaled nationally.
As more states look to update their Medicaid programs, Lyft’s national scale and network make us an effective and powerful partner. Over the past three years, we have forged partnerships with leading companies in the healthcare ecosystem to provide affordable and reliable transportation for patients who need to get to and from medical appointments, the pharmacy, and fitness centers. Because of our experience and relationships with top providers across the country, including the Medical Transportation Broker of Arizona (MTBA), and Access2Care in Florida, we can immediately drive cost-savings, improve access to healthcare, and increase passenger satisfaction.
Arizona Is Setting an Example
Understanding the healthcare transportation gap, we worked closely alongside Jami Snyder, the Director of Arizona’s Medicaid agency, to support Arizona in becoming the first state to develop innovative regulations that create a specific Medicaid provider type just for rideshare. With approximately 23 percent of the population in Arizona enrolled in Medicaid, we have the ability to positively impact the lives of patients through more reliable and accessible transportation.
“We are proud to be the first Medicaid program in the country to establish an innovative regulatory approach that seamlessly offers rideshare as a non-emergency medical transportation option for Medicaid beneficiaries, who do not require special assistance during transport to and from medical appointments. This is a significant step forward in medical transportation services and we look forward to seeing its positive impact.” - Jami Snyder, AHCCCS Director
The Future of Transportation to Medical Care
One of the key social determinants of health is access to services and programs that promote health and wellbeing. Transportation is the key to unlocking that access — and ridesharing is the most cost effective, reliable, safe, and convenient option. Previous regulations did not consider the existence of rideshare within healthcare transport because rideshare didn't exist. At Lyft, we’ve seen the positive impact rideshare can have not just on costs and operational efficiencies, but also on overall health.
The adoption of statewide rideshare laws and the increasing use of Lyft by consumers has prompted regulators to modernize policies to include a network-based approach to healthcare transportation. Arizona, Florida, and Texas Medicaid programs are the beginning of a trend. We are optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead to meaningfully reduce transportation as a barrier to care and promote health equity across populations, and look forward to partnering with other states to improve the lives of millions more through better transportation.