Ride Health announced a new program designed to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. The technology-enabled program helps to limit the exposure of independent ride-hail drivers and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers to passengers who have been exposed to COVID-19 patients or have themselves tested positive for the virus. Simultaneously, the program helps to ensure the safety of passengers who still need to travel to and from life-sustaining treatment for other health conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Using real-time geospatial tracking and granular data capture, Ride Health identifies the vehicles and drivers that individual patients use to get to or from any healthcare facility that uses the company’s transportation coordination platform. Through the program, Ride Health can notify transportation providers in its nationwide network whenever a passenger of theirs is reported to have tested positive for coronavirus or been exposed to an individual who has tested positive. Ride Health takes appropriate precautions to ensure that such disclosures are made in a HIPAA-compliant manner and involve minimum necessary information.
Once transportation providers are notified, they will alert the affected drivers so they can take precautions including self-quarantine. Depending on their policies, the NEMT provider may also require that future rides for the passenger be provided only by vehicles equipped with personal protective equipment, to minimize risk of transmission.
The enhanced process has been in place since March 13, when it was activated in connection with a COVID-19 case in Ohio. It is available at no additional cost to Ride Health hospital and health plan customers across 30 states.
“New technology can play an important role in tracking close interactions and reducing risk to vulnerable members of society by decreasing the feedback-loop time from a positive COVID-19 test to informing recent contacts so they can protect themselves and their families,” said Imran Cronk, CEO and Founder of Ride Health. “We launched this tracking process, which leverages our inherent data model, as a public service to help ensure that the millions of Americans who can’t postpone medical care will have a safer means of transportation during this pandemic.”
Ride Health’s cloud-based and mobile-first platform enables care managers in hospitals and health plans to request and monitor in real-time rides to and from medical appointments and the emergency department, at no cost to patients. The platform automatically selects the best ride from a broad network of high-performing transportation providers across all ride types and service levels—from public transit, ride-hailing, and taxis to NEMT providers operating wheelchair-accessible vehicles, stretcher vans and ambulances. As a result, patients can access primary care, adhere to chronic disease treatment plans, receive post-acute follow-up care, and get home safely after emergency department visits or hospital admissions, regardless of their age, location, or ability to pay.