May 23, 2017

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Lyft Join Forces to Increase Access to Health Care in Communities with Transportation Deserts

Blue Cross and Blue Shield forges public-private partnership to mitigate the powerful effects of social determinants of health

Submitted by: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Categories: Health & Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 18, 2017 – 03:15 PM EST

 

CHICAGO, May 18 /CSRwire/ - In an effort to address the community effects of social determinants of health, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) today announced a first nationwide partnership with Lyft to ensure Americans are not missing vital health care appointments simply because they lack reliable transportation.

This partnership exemplifies Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s (BCBS) commitment to bringing private and public entities together to improve community health in a manner that a health care organization could not address on its own. By combining BCBS’s ability to study the health experiences of its 106 million members with local data on issues such as transportation, nutrition and the environment, these partnerships can focus at a ZIP code-level on the community factors that have the most dramatic impact on individual health.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have always been committed to local communities – and to solving the most pressing health care challenges facing our country,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, BCBSA chief medical officer and president of the BCBS Institute. “A strategic alliance with Lyft will allow us to positively impact and improve Americans' health nationwide.”

Over the next several months, BCBS will incorporate Lyft services into an innovative service delivery model for select Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies – at no cost to members. The model couples BCBS technology with Lyft’s convenient ride-share services to reduce the number of missed appointments for non-emergency medical care in areas without optimal transportation alternatives servicing health care facilities.

“Many Americans live in areas where medical care is beyond the reach of walking, biking or public transportation. As a result, they struggle to access critical health care services, even when they have health insurance,” said Dr. Haywood. “We are committed to addressing issues like transportation that are inextricably linked to health outcomes, yet can’t be tackled through health care resources alone.”

“Lyft has been working closely with health care providers to get more people to the doctor when they need it, and a partnership this size with BCBS allows us to reach all 50 states,” said John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft. “This type of cross-industry partnership is a critical way to help make our communities stronger and families healthier.”

Eighty percent of health outcomes are driven by social determinants of health including lifestyle behaviors and environmental factors. Transportation barriers alone result in missed or delayed medical appointments for an estimated 3.6 million Americans. While assistance is available for many who receive Medicaid coverage, millions of Americans are still unable to regularly access care because they lack reliable transportation options.

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About Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute
Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute (BCBS Institute) is the first entity dedicated to addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) at the community level by identifying geographic areas of opportunity and targeting services to improve health within commercially insured markets. The Institute is a subsidiary of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an independent licensee of BCBSA, and filed as a benefit corporation.

About Lyft
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people's lives with the world's best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available in over 300 cities. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out the BCBS Blog for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

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