Ford enters NEMT space with national rollout of GoRide Health

By | May 10, 2019

Dive Brief:

  • Ford Motor Company announced the national rollout of its GoRide Health nonemergency medical transport service, starting in Ohio and expanding to major cities in Florida later this year.
  • In addition to expanding its NEMT service to managed care organizations across the U.S., GoRide is wading into the public transport space via a partnership with the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority in southwest Ohio.
  • Ford piloted the service in Southeast Michigan for more than a year, achieving a 95% on-time rate through the first quarter of 2019, with average wait times of 10 to 20 minutes. By the end of the year, the automotive giant expects to be providing thousands of rides daily in six U.S. cities.

Dive Insight:

Ford’s venture into the NEMT game comes as CMS is allowing Medicare Advantage plans to offer an array of new supplemental benefits, including nonmedical benefits like transportation assistance, for enrollees with chronic conditions.

Lack of access to transportation can be a major barrier for getting to medical appointments, as well as getting to the grocery store to buy healthy foods or the chance to exercise at a gym or park. With the current focus on social determinants of health and population health, payers are willing to pay for benefits that improve patients’ wellbeing and reduce overall costs.

Uber and Lyft also have their eyes on the healthcare space, although neither of their IPOs — Uber is set to go public this Friday — focus on that area as a major service line. In an S-1 form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in advance of its March 29 public offering, Lyft touted its partnerships with healthcare systems as a major source of economic benefits to communities by helping patients get to medical appointments.

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Lyft has already teamed up with several healthcare organizations, including a collaboration with Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute and LogistiCare to bring NEMT to some BCBS Medicare Advantage plans. The ridesharing app also partnered with Allscripts to develop a healthcare platform that enables doctors and hospitals to offer NEMT to patients.

Uber’s healthcare liaisons include the D.C. area’s MedStar Health and HackensackUMC in New Jersey, just outside New York City.

“Despite a critical and growing need across our country, most patients are unable to find reliable transportation and drivers who understand their needs,” Minyang Jiang, GoRide’s CEO, said in a statement. “GoRide Health can fill that gap.”

GoRide is currently available in Toledo, Ohio, with service expanding to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus by year’s end. Also slated to go operational in 2019 are major cities in Florida, starting with Miami. The on-demand service’s footprint will continue to grow in 2020, with launches in North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and California.

The on-demand NEMT service uses Ford’s routing technology to automatically dispatch and pool rides, as well as data analytics to help insurers identify areas with transportation gaps.

Through its partnership with the Greater Dayton RTA, Go-Ride is providing general paratransit services to residents of Dayton, Montgomery County and western Greene County in Ohio. The aim is to coordinate all mobility services so that all residents hailing a ride will be served, said Brandon Policicchio, chief customer and business development officer at the public transit authority.

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