Uber and Medicare?
Uber Taps Lucrative Medicare Business With Logistics Deal
Bruce Japsen Senior Contributor
I write about healthcare business and policy
Uber has signed a contract with a key medical transportation company that has relationships with some of the nation’s biggest health insurers.
Uber Health, the healthcare business of the ride-sharing giant, said it is partnering with American Logistics Company in “the rideshare company’s first national collaboration with a healthcare transportation management company.” Financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed.
Uber’s partnership with American Logistics offers another glimpse into the expanding and lucrative opportunities for ride sharing companies including rival Lyft as well as other startups and new entrants like Ford Motor Company’s GoRide Health invest into expansion for non-emergency medical transportation services.
“The combination of Uber's vast driver-partner network and American Logistics' full-service, turnkey transportation solution delivers an unmatched level of access to millions of healthcare plan members,” Uber Health said in a statement. “Healthcare plans and organizations can now provide smarter patient pickup and drop off, scheduling, real-time GPS tracking, and messaging through one unified platform.”
To be sure, American Logistics contracts with Caremore, a unit of Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurance company with more than 40 million health plan members.
Anthem’s CareMore contracts with American Logistics to provide patients with transportation to their doctor’s offices and other medical appointments, which is a goal of health insurers to try to make sure their health plan enrollees are getting primary care upfront before they get sick and end up in a more expensive care setting like a hospital.
As health insurers like Anthem move away from fee-for-service medicine to value-based care and population health models that make sure patients are getting quality care in the right place and at the right time, ride-sharing companies say they can have a key role.
CareMore is an integrated delivery system that provides care to about 150,000 patients enrolled in Caremore or Anthem Medicare Advantage plans as well as Medicaid health plan subscribers depending on the state.
Medicaid patients suffer multiple chronic conditions and are known to have difficulty accessing medical care services so insurers and Medicaid programs see ride-share as a potential solution to making sure they get to their doctor’s appointments. And seniors are flocking to Medicare Advantage plans, which are increasingly covering more supplement health benefits thanks to rule changes by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“Transportation touches many aspects of a person’s life and reliable transportation is fundamental to healthy communities,” Dan Trigub, head of Uber Health said. “As we find more ways for Uber to help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, partnerships with organizations like American Logistics are critical to our success. Uber Health along with American Logistics will reduce barriers to care for our most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and low-income patients.”
Trigub said American Logistics’ integration with Uber’s application programming interface (API) “creates a single-platform solution that, coupled with our dedicated team of healthcare professionals, will drive significant value."
For Uber, the American Logistics partnership shows a commitment to the healthcare space, Uber executives said. Landing more deals with health insurance companies and medical providers could also be a boon to Uber as the ride-sharing company is trying to boost sales and become profitable.
“Our Uber Health platform that helps improve access to healthcare organizations grew at over 400% year-on-year this quarter,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts last week during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.
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Jeff Sodoma, MPA, Esq. is a lawyer based in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Hello, there! Welcome to my blog. I will use this blog as a platform for my writing. I will write about topics in the legal world, certainly, as well as everything else under the sun, because I have many interests (and viewpoints). All views expressed in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are mine alone. One of my interests is music--my wife believes that I should go on "Beat Shazam" because I know so many songs--and I will be, from time to time, analyzing song lyrics and how they relate to the legal world.