Uber Health announced last week that Medicaid recipients in Texas will now have access to non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) options. Uber Health patients will have access to transportation both to and from their appointments.
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Uber’s decision will help expand its reach to over 4.4 million Medicaid members in the state. According to the announcement, some of the advantages behind this NEMT option is that it will help address barriers to care by providing transportation to patients who are unable to travel to a medical facility, it will help reduce costs for the state government, and it will help streamline health care at a much larger scale.
Studies have shown that close to 6 million Americans per year miss out on proper medical care due to transportation issues. This becomes a problem for health care providers when people don’t show up for their medical appointments. With the implementation of this new service, adequate health care will be more accessible and, according to the announcement, will “support its population health, while reducing costs and improving patient outcomes.”
Caitlin Donovan, global head of Uber Health, explained the benefits their platform brings to Texas Medicaid members.
“Uber Health’s logistics platform is uniquely positioned to make requesting transportation or deliveries easy, helping our partners and population health managers extend their reach in addressing social determinants of health and improving the overall health of communities.”
This new option for Texas Medicaid members comes as Medicaid enrollments rise across the country. According to Uber Health, nearly 10 million Americans joined the program during the pandemic alone. 80 million people are now covered by Medicaid, the program’s highest enrollment to date.
Uber Health worked with Rep. Dade Phelan, the current Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, on HB 1576 back in 2019, which helped pave the way for the implementation of Uber Health’s NEMT option. He commented on the benefits that Uber Health’s new service provides to Texas residents on Medicaid.
“The truth is that spending our money on a ride with Uber Health can be a more cost-effective use of our Medicaid dollars, and allows us to cut down on fraud, waste, and abuse while creating more equitable patient outcomes.”