Overcoming the Transportation Challenge: A Partnership between ConsejoSano and Lyft

On September 13th, we announced a new partnership with ridesharing company Lyft. The Consejosano/Lyft partnership will help low-income, Medicare and Medicaid populations solve non-emergency transportation challenges, which can prevent people from accessing the care they need. In fact, two different studies found that 25% of low-income patients missed an appointment due to transportation problems.

For those millions of patients who have struggled with healthcare access, technology is a key piece of the solution. For patients at Borrego Health (followed by other ConsejoSano clients across the United States), our partnership with Lyft will provide them on-demand transportation access, which can cut down the time it takes to get to the doctor from hours to less than an hour.

There’s an old saying that “time is money” and for workers who earn an hourly wage, the more time lost to health care needs, the less money that comes in the door. For example, if you have a mother who is providing for her child on an hourly wage, but her child is due for an immunization, how does she balance her child’s health (timely immunizations) and her child’s general well being (housing security, food security)? Particularly if she doesn’t have a car and the clinic is two bus rides away? For anyone who has ever been dependent on the bus, we know it’s going to take about two hours each way. Then an hour at the clinic. So by the time she’s done, the mother is out five hours of what is likely an eight hour shift. That income may mean less (or no) food in the house until the next paycheck, it might mean there’s not enough money to cover daycare, or even that rent is late, which tacks on a variety of late fees that will just put the family behind even more financially.

With an on-demand transportation service like Lyft, the same mother mentioned above might only miss two hours of work (half an hour each way, an hour at the clinic). That makes the hours easier to make up for the mother, a lower likelihood of the clinic having a “no show” patient, and most importantly, a child receiving a life-saving immunization on time. Proving once again that technology can and will play a vital role in ensuring access to high quality and necessary healthcare for all people, regardless of their income level.