Bridging Barriers to Care Access and Delivery: The Automation of Nonemergent Transportation in Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States


Kyle M Heidenberger; Rachel E Hill; Melissa Baldwin, MS, MBA;
Jason C McCarthy, PharmD, MBA

Abstracts from the Kaiser Permanente 2019 National Quality Conference

From Mid-Atlantic States

Background: Transportation remains a major care delivery barrier for Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (KPMAS) members. Through partnering with an external vendor, SafeRide Health, care team members are able to leverage an online platform to arrange rides for members requiring nonambulance transportation assistance. The SafeRide Health platform also provides on-demand analytics to report actionable ride utilization behaviors and patterns.
Methods: To automate and to centralize transportation arrangements, SafeRide Health was launched in KPMAS. Implementing SafeRide Health has allowed for integration of a Web-based platform to arrange rides on the basis of level of need with real-time analytics. Other considerations included ride share vendors, which could be only used to transport staff, and other health care transportation vendors that did not include an adequate level of reporting or potential for integration into the electronic health record. Reportable outcome measures tied to the overall initiative include decreases in outside medical spending, avoidable delays in hospital discharge caused by transportation-related conflicts, missed appointments owing to failed or lacking transportation, and Clinical Decision Unit/Emergency Department or hospital visits. There will also be an expected reduction in ambulance volume by offsetting with nonemergent medical transportation alternatives.
Results: Within the first few months of implementation, SafeRide Health has resulted in reduced transportation expenses, increased efficiencies for care delivery staff, and real-time analytics. It has also saved staff time as the online, centralized booking platform has replaced a manual, fragmented process that required staff to enter in member information for tracking and to place phone calls to members to arrange transportation. Utilization patterns are also tracked by reason, geography, and line of business coverage, allowing for appropriate planning and budgeting, as well as providing valuable data in anticipation of transportation-benefit exploratory discussions. The platform is expected to generate $68,064 in transportation cost savings for ambulatory rides via Lyft and $648,470 in savings for nonemergent medical transportation with hospital transfers in year 1. Additional metrics are being monitored for further reported care delivery impacts.
Discussion: By leveraging technology via SafeRide Health, care delivery teams can efficiently arrange transportation for members at varying levels of need. The platform is also generating insight into regional transportation-demand drivers, which is growing our transportation program to appropriately meet member needs and to support access to comprehensive care delivery. To track key metrics, an interactive, actionable dashboard was developed to track utilization metrics against key population health indicators, such as age, race, and chronic disease program enrollment. Data reported through the dashboard, in addition to trending use patterns from SafeRide Health’s analytics, will support planning and development discussions going forward, in addition to meeting specific strategic operating plan goals.

Abstracts from the Kaiser Permanente 2019 National Quality Conference


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