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Clover Health, Roundtrip to offer MA members non-emergency transport services

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San Francisco-based health insurance startup Clover Health is partnering with Philadelphia-based Roundtrip, which will enable its Medicare Advantage members to access the latter’s non-emergency medical transportation services.

Via Roundtrip’s ride ordering app, Clover members whose plans include transportation benefits will be able to choose from a wide array of options, including rideshare, medical sedans, wheelchair vans and non-emergency ambulances.

“Transportation is one of the social determinants of health impacting our members, said Todd Dugan, director of service operations at Clover Health, in an email. “We recognized that with more access to reliable transportation, our members would have better access to needed care.”

The Roundtrip app is user-friendly and intuitive, which is one of the reasons Clover Health selected Roundtrip as a partner, Dugan said.

This aligns with a key goal of the partnership — member experience, said Mark Switaj, CEO of Roundtrip, in an email.

Clover members, or their care coordinators, can book a ride or schedule one for the future through the app. The member is matched with a transportation provider from Roundtrip’s network, and they then receive status updates via text or phone calls until the vehicle arrives at the pick-up location. Roundtrip’s Navigation Center monitors each trip to help ensure a smooth process.

Another goal is to reduce the percentage of “failed ride” instances, that is, a situation where a member’s requested ride falls through due to poor vehicle supply in the region, Switaj said. Roundtrip’s broad network will help mitigate this issue.

“Specific to Clover Health, a high percentage of failed rides for their members translates into dissatisfied members who miss their appointments, causing a delay in their care and a risk that chronic conditions worsen,” he said. “The urgency to partner with Roundtrip now is about improving the overall members’ experience and improving health outcomes.”

Since 2019, Medicare Advantage plans have been able to offer supplemental benefits to address non-medical needs, such as meals, pest control and transportation. The percentage of plans offering transportation benefits increased to 35% in 2020 from 19% in 2018, but this is not enough, Switaj said.

“Offering social services in addition to the traditional supplemental benefits, like vision, dental, or hearing, is crucial for meeting the needs of high-cost beneficiaries,” he said.

The partnership with Roundtrip comes about three months after Clover Health was targeted in a scathing report by short-seller Hindenburg Research, alleging that the company is facing an undisclosed False Claims Act investigation from the Department of Justice. Clover, which went public last  October, said it had received a request for information from the Justice Department but has not received any civil investigative demands or subpoenas.

Photo: oatawa, Getty Images

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