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The cost savings potential of non-emergency transport

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 07, 2020
From the April 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

With reimbursement challenges seemingly the mantra among healthcare providers today, minimizing preventable patient health issues to maximize the take of money put toward outcome-based care is on the minds of many. When it comes to patients with chronic conditions however, the challenge isn’t just managing their care in the hospital, it’s making sure they get back for checkups and health maintenance. For lower-income patients who can’t afford a vehicle, or for physically impaired patients who can’t safely drive and don’t have friends or family to turn to for transportation, making sure they show up for their checkups can be a challenge for providers. Taxis and other ride services can help fill the gap, but taking the onus of out-of-pocket expense and scheduling off the patient is an important consideration. Having a health-centric solution could be an even better answer. Enter Ride Health.

Ride Health founder and CEO, Imran Cronk, launched the company in 2016. The company isn’t an Uber or Lyft clone. In fact, it doesn’t provide rides at all. Instead, it acts as a facilitator for transportation companies and hospitals. “It all centers on our platform that a care coordinator or a social worker uses to document the mobility needs and communications nuances of their patients. From there, they can create ride requests, a one-way ride for a discharge, a roundtrip for an appointment, a recurring ride for ongoing treatment like chemotherapy or dialysis or some other maintenance plan,” Cronk says.

Hospitals connect to the platform to submit patient transportation requests. The request is filtered into Ride Health’s fleet engine, which is a database of transportation providers the company has agreements with. “We store all the information about transportation providers in our fleet engine. That helps us match requests and qualify first, based on geographic area, hours of operation and service level capabilities. Then, we rank based on cost and quality metrics in order to be responsible stewards of our clients’ budget dollars while balancing patient satisfaction,” Cronk explains.

The passenger/patient doesn’t have to be concerned with scheduling or payment. Their only interaction is through a text message or voice call – depending on their access and preference – to let them know their driver is on the way or has arrived.

The hospital pays for rides scheduled through the company on a monthly basis. A single bill is sent to them and Ride Health gets the payments to the transportation providers. In addition to the actual cost of the ride, the hospital pays an administrative fee to cover the costs of the platform.

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