15% of Arizona's Medicaid rides involved Uber, Lyft this summer

After Arizona Medicaid regulation changes allowed ride-sharing companies to provide nonemergency transportation, 15 percent of Medicaid rides involved Uber and Lyft this summer, according to Kaiser Health News. 

Arizona became the first state to update its Medicaid regulations in May to increase transportation options for the state's Medicaid beneficiaries, which account for 24 percent of the state's 7 million residents.

"So far, our anecdotal reports have been very positive," Arizona Medicaid Director Jami Snyder told Kaiser Health News.

Through traditional Medicaid transportation programs, patients must often share transport vehicles and reserve rides days ahead, while ride-sharing companies require little notice and often take solo passengers.

"The ride-sharing companies are cost-effective," Effie Carlson, a vice president of LogistiCare, a large Medicaid transportation broker, told Kaiser Health News. However, prices fluctuate, increasing during peak-traffic times.

At present, Arizona officials do not have an estimate of cost savings due to ride-sharing. 

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