How Can Health Plans Team Up with Transportation for Better Care?

Addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH) is crucial to improving health outcomes for members and participants, resulting in increased demand for NEMT services to meet those needs. A recent analysis of accountable care organizations (ACOs) by the Institute for Accountable Care highlighted the importance of addressing SDoH and 4 key findings from their study.

Important Takeaways and Possible NEMT Solutions for Them

  1. SDoH data collection needs more work –plenty of ACOs do collect some data regarding SDoH for their clientele, but by and large it’s not at the level it needs to be. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has already set up screening policies and will add two more pieces in 2023: screening for social drivers and screening for positive rates in social drivers. Both the data collection and screening offer great potential for NEMT professionals. You likely have some means of collecting data on your trips, clients, drivers, and more. This makes non-emergency medical transportation a powerful partner for ACOs for reasons beyond their basic service offerings. With the CMS adding two new screening measures, it may help to seek out more sophisticated NEMT online booking software with robust data collection and reporting capabilities.
  2. Create partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) – we’ve touched on the importance of NEMT professionals doing exactly this, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that ACOs are seeing merit in doing the same. If you have those connections, you may already be positioned to collaborate with ACOs. Checking to ensure your name is listed as a resource for all your local CBOs is beneficial when building your NEMT business.
  3. CBOs need higher funding to meet the increasing demand for their offerings – demand for health care plans and providers continues to go up, and not every CBO is funded well enough to properly meet this demand. While this isn’t something NEMT professionals or ACOs can help with directly, there’s still some potential. NEMT could possibly help CBOs find more efficient ways of helping local communities with transportation needs. It’s also possible that certain NEMT solutions coordinated with involved ACOs could provide opportunities for further efficiencies.
  4. Securing government funding can speed up the process of integrating healthcare and social services – lack of funding is showing governmental entities the ROI on tackling SDoH more directly. This is another piece that can be partially addressed by NEMT providers with supporting software platforms that include strong data collection and standard reporting. We know the right NEMT software combined with coordination with whatever company or organization creates efficient use of the dollars and cents in company operations. Specifically when one of our clients worked with their insurance company to prove that they were much lower risk than originally assessed. Of course, this data collection and reporting only helps with the travel side of what CBOs and ACOs are handling, but provides an extra data set to pull from when it comes time to request additional funding.

Looking for Ways to Improve Your NEMT Services?
We understand that the way forward isn’t always clear with complex issues such as these. Look for opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge. NEMT isn’t about having a leg up over anyone else in the industry, it’s about delivering the best care and solutions to make people’s lives healthier. If you’re looking for help or want to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kris Lyon

Kris, VP, Business Development, specializes in adapting the operational needs of customers to Momentm's NEMT software platforms. With a strong 30+ year history working in the Health and Human Services field, Kris provides insight into the health care industry and its relation to medical transportation.

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