Selecting the right partner for your member transportation benefit

Joe Corcoran
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The weight of patient experience measures in STAR ratings is doubling – delivering experience and satisfaction excellence is imperative for plans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a Star Rating system to help beneficiaries and their families compare plan performance and quality for Medicare Advantage plans, benefits, prescription drug plans, and plan costs. Medicare plans are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with a 5-star rating being the highest score a plan can receive.

What are you doing to ensure your transportation vendor delivers the benefit efficiently but now more importantly, with a superior member experience? 

We have been getting a lot of questions from MAOs kicking off 2023 planning – most have been asking about the difference between Roundtrip and other solutions in the market. I advise our champions to look at the vendor market in three categories – rideshare vendors, traditional NEMT (non-emergency medical transportation) brokers, and tech-enabled platforms. Here’s an overview of each: 

Rideshare | Healthcare rideshare rides from Lyft or Uber leverage the same vehicle network and the same policies and procedures as typical consumer rides. The two primary benefits of using Lyft or Uber are the ability to launch quickly and utilize the existing rideshare driver network. However, because they are not healthcare specific rides, MAOs are often challenged to find and onboard other fleet companies that have wheelchair vans or stretcher vehicles. Rideshare drivers will only wait for 5 minutes for the rider to arrive, and the driver cannot provide a helping hand getting into or out of the vehicle. These are the two most cited gaps in the rideshare model for healthcare, particularly with plans that support rural and elderly Medicare beneficiaries.

NEMT Brokers | Transportation brokers are the longest tenured solutions in the NEMT industry. Brokers like Modivcare, MTM, and Veyo serve many Medicaid managed care organizations and large national payers and provide millions of rides annually. Brokers provide call center capabilities and credential transportation companies within their network. They often service capitated contracts, where they received a fixed amount to administer the transportation benefit and are responsible for managing compliance and costs first. That mindset often results in care managers and patients experiencing long hold times with customer service and long waits for rides.

Technology platforms | Web-based ride ordering and monitoring systems like Roundtrip are the newest entrant to the NEMT sector. Consider these platforms a best-of-both solution for plans — the platforms allow plans to tap into multiple vehicle types, including rideshare, and allow for mobile app, desktop, and phone-in ride ordering. By being newer to the industry, tech-enabled platforms have the flexibility to design workflows for care managers and members that make it simple to order a ride. They have the technology experience and agility to continuously improve their applications and move the benefit management process from spreadsheets to real time tracking and electronic eligibility available within the app.

Every plan and its membership will be different. What should stay the same is the intense focus from product managers and member service leaders to deliver a consistently excellent member experience. A partner that has a service-oriented culture, an easy-to-use product, and a delivery model that ensures ride fulfillment are key to success – no matter your budget or your benefit design. Roundtrip is the leader in bringing IDNs, health systems, and payers a technology platform and a team that puts that patient at the center of the ride experience.

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