Texas eyes Uber, Lyft to transport Medicaid patients to appointments

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A bill is gaining traction in the Texas House of Representatives that would allow Medicaid managed care companies to use Uber, Lyft and other rideshare apps to transport patients to medical appointments, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Five notes:

1. Under the current system, the state pays transportation brokers $160 million annually to transport Medicaid patients to appointments. These trips, however, must be scheduled two days in advance.

2. The new bill would allow for more scheduling flexibility to transport patients who suddenly become sick or are discharged from the hospital early, for example.

3. Medicaid managed care companies would coordinate rides through the apps. Transportation brokers would still be available to transport patients with more complex needs, such as those in wheelchairs or walkers.

4. Uber told the Houston Chronicle its Uber Health division is currently working to train drivers to work with people who use wheelchairs, walkers and scooters.

5. About 120 representatives have already backed the measure, indicating favorable odds in the House, according to the report. The bill is being analyzed for fiscal impact before it comes up for a hearing.

Read the full story here


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