Lyft partners with WNY Medicaid providers to offer free rides - The Buffalo News
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Lyft partners with WNY Medicaid providers to offer free rides

A Western New York health collaboration that advocates value-based care has teamed up with the Lyft ride-hailing service to provide free rides to Medicaid patients who use affiliated services.

“The major reason our Medicaid patients miss doctors’ appointments is because they cannot find an efficient mode of transport,” said Dr. Raul Vazquez, chief executive officer of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization. “This partnership with Lyft enables our care coordinators to arrange rides for our patients that are cheaper, faster and oftentimes more comfortable and reliable.”

The accountable care organization announced Wednesday that it will offer free rides to patients who need to visit any of its network providers.

Vazquez, a primary care doctor, leads Urban Family Practice on the West Side, which is among a group of hospitals, doctors, specialists and other health care providers who have come together voluntarily to give coordinated care to the patients they serve.

For information on its members, visit gbuaco.org. Those who see accountable care organization-related providers should check with their provider or care coordinator about using Lyft.

“The response from health care companies that have been using Lyft Concierge has been outstanding, with patients using words like ‘exciting’ and ‘comfortable’ to describe their Lyft experiences,” Gyre Renwick, head of health care partnerships at Lyft, said in a statement.

The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization, launched last year, is the first Medicaid accountable care organization in New York State. The coordinated care of its members helps avoid unnecessary duplication of services and allows for a free flow of medical information among providers.

Under a value-based payment system, practitioners in the organization receive financial incentives for the quality, and not the quantity, of services rendered.

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