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Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lyft partner to provide patients free rides to physician appointments

Eighty percent of health outcomes are driven by social determinants, including transportation.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Lyft driver-Photo courtesy <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanists/10832923993"> SPUR </a>Lyft driver-Photo courtesy SPUR

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Lyft have teamed up to get patients rides to their doctors, at no cost to members.

The association brings to the table more than 100 million members and local data on transportation issues. The BCBS Association is made up of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

The San Francisco-based ride-sharing company Lyft is among the fastest growing rideshare companies in the nation, available in over 300 cities. 

[Also: Lyft signs LogistiCare contract, adding to growing list of healthcare partnerships]

In recent months, Lyft has made similar partnerships with other health organizations such as Executive Care, SafeRide Health, National Federation of the Blind,  MedStar Mobile Healthcare, and LogistiCare. 

Eighty percent of health outcomes are driven by social determinants, including transportation, according to Trent Haywood, MD, BCBSA chief medical officer and president of the BCBS Institute.

While transportation assistance is available for many who receive Medicaid coverage, millions of Americans are at risk for access to care because they lack reliable transportation options, BCBS said.

[Also: Medical providers try Uber, Lyft for patients lacking transportation]

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have always been committed to local communities – and to solving the most pressing healthcare challenges facing our country," Haywood said. "A strategic alliance with Lyft will allow us to positively impact and improve Americans' health nationwide."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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