For decades, many stakeholders in the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) ecosystem have been crippled by the lack of transparency around ride data and member experience. Lack of data transparency, in this case, creates a ‘black box’ type of situation with a triple threat:
- NEMT providers capture ride data that doesn’t quickly make its way to health plans
- Health plans capture complaints and grievances from patients that don’t make it back to NEMT providers
- Member feedback is not collected in a streamlined way that all parties can interpret in a meaningful way to optimize transportation delivery and member experience
Not All NEMT Brokers are Created Equal
NEMT brokers can be meaningful and impactful partners to health plans, however, not all NEMT brokers offer equal value.
Traditional NEMT brokers have been around for decades, and for much of that time, they have delivered similar out-of-the-box NEMT solutions. However, the transportation needs of both health plans and their members have evolved significantly even in the last decade.
Once a NEMT program goes live, traditional transportation brokers may demonstrate a dropoff in communication and accountability around ride performance and member experience – including on-time rates, cancellation rates, grievance rates, ride fulfillment rates, and beyond. The antiquated model of multi-week or even multi-month delays in health plans receiving reports with data on ride performance and member experience (or in some instances, only receiving these insights when specifically requested) should no longer be acceptable in today’s transportation landscape – because once a transportation program launches, the work has only just begun. Health plans need real-time data reporting and visibility into the status of individual and collective rides, not the often-withheld or delayed ‘black box’ of rich ride data, which is an essential resource for optimizing ride efficiency and improving member experience.
SafeRide changes this long-standing industry narrative by significantly increasing data transparency and digitizing the dated network structure. This eliminates the ‘black box’ situation described above, and creates accountability around providing all parties (health plans, NEMT providers, and members) with real-time data sharing. From on-time pickup/dropoff rates to driver performance metrics, health plans and NEMT providers receive real-time information to allow for the best possible experience on what really matters – ensuring that vulnerable members have access to the care they need, when they need it.
Real-Time Data Transparency
Live GPS tracking of rides helps health plans prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, while also giving riders peace of mind to securely get to their destination. If complaints and grievances or a bad experience do occur, health plans know quicker and can intervene. Technology-first NEMT lets health plans make better business decisions with rich ride data available.
The Snowballing Effect of Missing Healthcare Appointments Due to Transportation
Transportation is a critical barrier to care delivery for the nation’s most vulnerable populations and has seen a degradation in service levels over the last few years. A stunning 31% of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries miss healthcare appointments or run out of medicine because they are unable to access transportation.
If some patients skip just one appointment, there’s a snowballing effect that can move a treatment plan from a routine, preventative checkup to a reactive, more critical surgery or response. For example, a Medicare Advantage health plan member with advanced heart disease who misses their cardiologist checkup because they were unsure how to get a ride (or the ride was canceled and not rescheduled immediately) may risk having their condition worsen without being detected, and ultimately, result in a heart attack that not only risks their life, but also comes with a costly emergency room evaluation, hospital ICU stay, post-acute rehabilitation care, and long-term costly medications and treatment. In cases like this, a ride to and from the cardiologist may make all the difference in reducing the risk of a heart attack and simultaneously removing the resulting downstream healthcare costs.
While this may sound like a more extreme case, it’s one of the many ways that “non-health” factors directly impact overall health.
A Technology-First Approach to NEMT
With the expanding availability of on-demand rides with popular rideshare platforms, transportation options are not the same as they were even ten years ago, and neither should they be for getting to healthcare appointments for vulnerable patient populations.
Digitizing this cumbersome, dated healthcare network is a massive step forward in providing health plans with transparency, care providers with simplicity, and plan members with empowerment.
What Does this Transformation Look Like in Action?
It’s an end-to-end program where a health plan can see improved plan STAR ratings and lower grievance rates; a NEMT provider can know in real-time where their vehicles are and how their drivers are performing; a care provider can see a drop-off in patient no-shows and hospital readmissions; and ultimately, a plan member who can be on their way to a healthier outcome.
SafeRide looks forward to continuing to innovate the way we knock down barriers to transportation for the country’s most at-risk communities and patient populations with our investors, customers, and partners.